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National OK9 network: Fire and Rescue Service

Say ‘hello’ to the OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs and their handlers in the Fire and Rescue Service.

These dogs are all members of the national OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dog network and are able to attend the aftermath of a major incident to support those affected by trauma. They also get the opportunity to attend national events and to support our wellbeing outreach service. 

Freddie

Freddie the Cocker Spaniel - Humberside FRS OK9 wellbeing dog

 

  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Cuddles
  • Character / traits: Very calm, his tail never stops wagging

Freddie is looked after by Lisa Smith from HFRS. Lisa said: "Freddie was from South Yorkshire Spaniel Re-Homing Centre after I had lost my young cocker spaniel to cancer. He is now 11 years old and is the most gentle loving dog which is why I knew he’d be perfect to be HFRS's first-ever wellbeing and trauma support dog.

"I worked as a vet nurse before doing my nurse training so combining my two passions, people and animals is like a dream job for me!" Freddie is available for staff visits/community events by getting in touch with occupational health admin."

Kellan

Kellan the Greyhound standing in a field wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket

 

  • Breed: Greyhound
  • Likes: Snuggles, cheese, leaning, people and other dogs, sleeping
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky ball, and a squeaky toy
  • Character / traits: Gentle and kind, rarely barks and very rarely growls
  • Favourite food: Sprats, cheese, and Greek yoghurt

Angie Jones is a health and wellbeing lead for the service. Angie said: "I have only been in post for a short while. I registered both my Greyhounds to be Pets As Therapy dogs pre-covid, so I know the fantastic impact support dogs have on people at times of worry or stress.

"Kellan is particularly good with people with high anxiety or stress as he is very calm and gentle which can be very soothing, whilst his projected strength is relaxing."

Ronnie

FRS Cavapoo Ronnie looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket

 

  • Breed: Cavapoo
  • Likes: Balls, people, cuddles, walks, attention
  • Favourite toy: Rubber bouncy ball
  • Character / traits: Bubbly character, loves people and other dogs
  • Favourite food: Carrots, and dog treats

Ronnie's handler is Wayne Gale, a station manager currently working in operational response. Wayne is also part of the health and wellbeing team and the lead for Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) for the service.

Wayne said: "Although it's early days, I have found being an OK9 dog handler rewarding and am amazed at how Ronnie can change the mood in a room as well as get people to open up about mental health."

Olive

FRS Olive the Cocker Spaniel wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket

 

  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Life, people, and Mark's shoes
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Calm nature and a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Favourite food: Anything she isn't allowed

Olive was adopted by Mark in August 2020 from a Northamptonshire-based animal rescue charity after being seized by the Police under the Animal Welfare Act. She hasn’t let her difficult past stand in her way and is now loving life and enjoying being the first wellbeing dog for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

She is having a positive impact on the employees of the service and loves the role and the attention and takes it all in her stride. Her calm temperament, love of people, and her aptitude to sense people’s emotions have meant that she is a natural in the role and is a welcome addition to the wellbeing team within NFRS.