Clear The Shelters

Kerith the Golden Retriever Is Offering Comfort to California Firefighters

Clear The Shelters

Clear The Shelters

WBRE-TV joins NBCUniversal owned television stations Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign for the entire month of August

WBRE-TV along with animal shelters and rescues from Northeast & Central Pennsylvania will host the popular month-long event in August for local communities’ organizations will offer low cost or waived adoption fees

WBRE-TV today has joined NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters™ nationwide pet adoption campaign. Launching August 1st and culminating with Clear The Shelters Day Friday, August 28th, the pet adoption drive will include the participation of local animal shelters/rescues. On August 28, participating organizations will offer low cost or waived pet adoption fees to help families adopt a pet.

Eyewitness News and NBC Universal have partnered to produce a 60-minute special highlighting the importance of finding forever homes for shelter animals. The first half hour of the special NBC’s “Clear The Shelters” will run at 7:00PM will spotlight the amazing adoptive families, unsung heroes who work at the shelters and of course, adorable pets who are being welcomed into new homes.

The second half hour WBRE-TV’s “Finding a Forever Home” at 7:30PM will be hosted by Eyewitness News morning anchors, Chris Langlois and Kelly Byrne and will highlight the efforts here in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to find homes for animals.

From older dogs to kittens to rabbits to birds, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign has inspired local communities to take action and open their homes to pets in need. Since 2015, more than 411,292 pets have been adopted.

For more information, visit ClearTheShelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter @Clear The Shelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

Clear The Shelters: Local Animal Shelters

More Local Animal Shelters

Meet Kerith — a certified crisis response therapy dog offering comfort and support to firefighters in California.

The 2-year-old golden retriever has met firefighters daily at the wildfire base camp in Marin County for the past few weeks, calming them and putting smiles on their faces during and after their morning briefings.

The 2,500-acre Woodward wildfire has prompted more than 200 firefighters to work on the scene, as well as five crews, 17 fire engines, five helicopters and two water-scooping planes, according to NBC Bay Area. Kerith visits the firefighters at the wildfire camp base every day.

“We are tasked with things that push our limits,” John Aitchison, a firefighter in Marin County, told TODAY. “And having something like a dog brings some of type of normalcy back into our lives. All these abnormal events are getting really tiring on all our folks here. So having that comfort is therapeutic.”

Kerith’s handler, Heidi Carman, told TODAY that the pup helps the firefighters “by just letting them be with her, and they don’t have to say anything.”

She continued, “They’ve told me that Kerith makes them feel ‘important, loved and special.’”

Kerith was born and raised to be a guide dog for the blind and “changed careers” at 14 months old to an occupation more suited for her — a therapy dog, according to Carman. The test Kerith had to take in front of five judges to obtain her therapy dog certificate was a rigorous one, Carman said. If Kerith jumped once during the entire test, she would flunk.

“Now she loves to jump up and dance with the firefighters,” Carman said.

Kerith has started sitting in on debriefing meetings following tough calls for the team to help calm them after what’s many times a traumatizing experience.

“Often, the firefighters won’t talk about their feelings, but if there’s a dog there, then it helps for them to open up and feel like they can talk,” Carman said.

“These fires are getting longer and longer, and we’re spending more and more time away from our families,” Aitchison said. “A golden retriever, one of the happiest things in the world, just reminds you of home.”

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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