Non-profit paws4people hold sensory training at fire station

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It was all about puppies and dogs at the Wilmington Fire Department Friday morning.

More than half a dozen service dogs and their trainers were at Fire Station 10 for sensory training.

According to representatives with paws4people, exposing service animals to loud noises allows them to get to use to sounds they may encounter while out on the job.

The canines weren’t the only ones learning new skills. Students enrolled in UNCW’s Service Dogs Training Program were also there to learn. The university-based, four-course progressive certificate program is a first-of-its kind.

Sara Harts who is with paws4people said it was all about getting the service animals acclimated to outside stimuli.

“They’re going to be exposed to any and everything when they are out in public and we want them to build confidence, get used to it, all the different items they are going to see, and also seeing the fire fighters in gear in the event they ever come across one during a normal day,” she said. “They are like hey it’s a friend, it’s nothing new to them.”

Volunteer opportunities are available; for more information, call (910) 632-0615.

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