City of Franklin swears in therapy K9 to serve first responders


As the saying goes, ‘every dog has its day.’ For 2-year-old K9 Demeter, that lucky day came Wednesday when he was sworn in as an official employee of the city of Franklin to comfort those who serve and protect us. “After traumatic events, having something that we can connect with and just help decrease that stress is just really important as we focus more on first responder mental health,” said City of Franklin Fire Lt. Katie Williams.Demeter lives at the Franklin County firehouse, but he’s on call for any surrounding agencies. “He has been to another agency within our county, he has been to an agency outside our county, and currently in talks with other agencies due to some traumatic events recently,” said Williams. That includes dispatchers, police, firefighters and EMS workers who witness some of the heaviest burdens of society everyday. “First responders, mental health K9s have been shown to decrease anxiety and emotional distress. They provide comfort. They enhance communication and lessen the feelings of depression,” said Williams.”I’ve witnessed just kind of like a relief, just almost like a weight lifted off some of their shoulders, like momentarily they’ve forgotten the stress or the sorrows or all the emotions and just on him. Just for that moment alone is worth it,” said Demeter’s handler and Franklin firefighter and paramedic, Erica Marion.Demeter couldn’t tell us his feelings about the new gig, but those he serves seem like happy campers.

As the saying goes, ‘every dog has its day.’ For 2-year-old K9 Demeter, that lucky day came Wednesday when he was sworn in as an official employee of the city of Franklin to comfort those who serve and protect us.

“After traumatic events, having something that we can connect with and just help decrease that stress is just really important as we focus more on first responder mental health,” said City of Franklin Fire Lt. Katie Williams.

Demeter lives at the Franklin County firehouse, but he’s on call for any surrounding agencies.

“He has been to another agency within our county, he has been to an agency outside our county, and currently in talks with other agencies due to some traumatic events recently,” said Williams.

That includes dispatchers, police, firefighters and EMS workers who witness some of the heaviest burdens of society everyday.

“First responders, mental health K9s have been shown to decrease anxiety and emotional distress. They provide comfort. They enhance communication and lessen the feelings of depression,” said Williams.

“I’ve witnessed just kind of like a relief, just almost like a weight lifted off some of their shoulders, like momentarily they’ve forgotten the stress or the sorrows or all the emotions and just on him. Just for that moment alone is worth it,” said Demeter’s handler and Franklin firefighter and paramedic, Erica Marion.

Demeter couldn’t tell us his feelings about the new gig, but those he serves seem like happy campers.



Read More:City of Franklin swears in therapy K9 to serve first responders