Paws on the job: Pups trained for emergencies

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comNovember 16, 2012 

Reserve firefighter Alex Gentilly says hello to Kalani, a 3-month-old yellow Labrador handled by Laurie Moore, as she and other Puppy Raisers from PAWS 4 Sight brought their seeing-eye puppies to the Atascadero City Fire Station No. 1 on Wednesday afternoon so the pups could become familiar with emergency personnel.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

Furry friends padded through the Atascadero Fire Department’s Lewis Avenue station Wednesday during a special tour designed to familiarize service dogs and puppies with emergency personnel and their equipment.

People with the San Luis Obispo-based organization Paws 4 Sight walked the guide dogs through the station alongside firefighters to expose the animals to surroundings they may encounter in an actual emergency. The group did a similar activity in 2010.

“Our dogs will be tasked with helping disabled individuals, and the dogs need to be familiar with loud noises and different environments and be comfortable with strange and out-of-the-ordinary situations that may face their handlers,” group member Susan King said in a statement.

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