August brings some fantastic visitors to Stafford’s Board of Supervisors meetings – assistance dogs! International Assistance Dog Week is marked annually during the first week of August, and Stafford’s Board recognizes it during its August meeting with a unique, tail-wagging proclamation presentation. This year, a canine visitor and handler from FRK9, a Stafford nonprofit organization, will accept the proclamation on behalf of all the assistance and working dogs who enhance the lives of Stafford’s residents every day. Stafford currently has nine hard-working canines on the employee roster.
“We are grateful to organizations like FRK9 for providing purpose-bred dogs to first responders, particularly Larry, our Fire and Rescue support dog,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch. “Our assistance and working dogs are incredible assets to the work of our personnel, and I know that the assistance dogs throughout the community mean as much to their humans. Recognizing them is a privilege for us.”
FRK9 provides service dogs to first responders who have incurred life-altering injuries to include: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and/or physical mobility disabilities. FRK9 Service Dogs are given to qualified First Responder applicants free of cost. Larry came to Stafford County Fire and Rescue from FRK9. He works with his handler, Technician Jeff Stocker. Stocker visits stations over and above his regular Fire and Rescue job to allow Larry to comfort and support Fire and Rescue personnel. Larry was named for a Michigan police officer, Larry Nehasil, who lost his life in the line of service in 2011. For more info, visit www.frk9.org.
Besides Larry, Stafford Fire and Rescue has Duchess, an accelerant sniffing dog who saves investigators valuable time by sniffing out gasoline or other flammable substances in a matter of minutes. The Sheriff’s Office has six patrol dogs whose duties range from checking the courts and the VRE stations for explosives daily to chasing and restraining those those committing the worst crimes like murder and sexual assaults. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office has a young bloodhound, Ruby, who is a tracker. To view a video featuring some of the County’s working dogs, please watch:
Stafford honors K9 Havoc, handler - Master Deputy J.H. Truslow. Havoc, who was living a happy retired life, passed away this week after serving Stafford County more than seven years.