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Meet Sparkie with a photo of Sparking, a National First Responder Therapy Dog
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Meet Sparkie

South Shore Regional Emergency Communications Center is grateful for the support we receive from Sparkie and her handler, Tracy Ryan.

In August 2021, Sparkie became a certified with First Responder Therapy Dogs. The nonprofit organization certifies teams (handler and dog) who address behavioral health needs by providing emotional support to first responders with the use of trained therapy dogs. The teams visit fire departments, police stations and emergency communications centers. They are also available for debriefings after difficult calls and first responder special events.

Tracy and Sparkie are one of 81 certified First Responder Therapy Dogs teams across 17 states. Massachusetts has 11 certified teams with two additional teams currently enrolled in the certification process.

Tracy is the New England Director of Operation for First Responder Therapy Dogs. You can email her at:

Your support matters! First Responder Therapy Dogs is entirely dependent on your generosity to provide much needed emotional support to first responders. With your tax-deductible contribution, the organization will continue to be a powerful tool in helping first responders take to the front line. 



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