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'They just enjoy your companionship': Fundraising to bring a therapy dog to Door Co. Community

Posted at 9:40 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 18:51:26-05
  • The video shows first responders who will benefit from having a therapy dog.
  • The Crime Prevention Foundation is a fund of the Door County Community Foundation that will help with raising funds for a therapy dog.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

From fires to car accidents to heart attacks, first responders in Door County see it all. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt. With the new push to get a therapy dog to this part of the state

Driving around with Chief Deputy Pat McCarty from the Door County Sheriff’s Office, he explained how working as a first responder brings many stressful situations to the forefront.

“You know, probably six years ago, I would have been a skeptic of a therapy dog,” said Chief Deputy McCarty.

Chief Deputy, Pat McCarty had a therapy dog visit him in the hospital a few years ago.
“It really sparked me up as I laid there in that hospital bed not knowing what was going to be occurring in the future, “ said McCarty.

Currently, first responders in Door County do not have a therapy dog. The Crime Prevention Foundation is a fund through the Door County Community Foundation that is trying to bring the first therapy dog to the county for first responders. Bret Bicoy, their CEO and President, explained the funding needed for the dog.

“We're really looking to raise something in the neighborhood of 20 to $25,000 which will help care for the animal not just for the purchase and the training but will help care for its care over the long period of its life,” said Bicoy.

Bicoy says having a therapy dog will be a great asset to the community.

“If you've got a child who just witnessed their house burning down when you've got a family member who was in a terrible accident, and you were the survivor in the car accident, whether it be even a law enforcement officer or a first responder who's the witness to something truly traumatic, a therapy dog is there to help calm you,” said Bicoy.

The Oshkosh Police Department recently lost their beloved therapy dog, Magic, who they said had a great impact on their community.

“Magic was more than just for the police department. I want to be very, very clear about that. Magic was for the community,” said Oshkosh Police Chief, Dean Smith, “She was able to help us help people get out of that crisis and get them to some treatment and some help that they needed.”

Chief Deputy McCarty says they deal with many stressful situations but some are harder than others.

“By far the most difficult call that we have to respond to on occasion is a child or infant death. That I think if you asked anybody that worked in our office, that is one of the most difficult calls,” said McCarty.

He says the therapy dog will serve as a way to connect with the community and promote engagement.

“The nice thing about a dog is they're non-judgmental. So, I mean, they just enjoy your companionship and don't ask for anything in return,” said McCarty.

You can help support the Crime Prevention Foundations fundraising efforts here.