Fire and Life Safety Education

Community Engagement K-9

Cat the K-9 Caring AngelThe Charlotte Fire Department Office of Public Information & Community Engagement has established a K-9 Program for the dual purpose of enhancing our community engagement and education programs, as well as providing support to our members through stress reduction and behavioral wellbeing.

The K-9 was donated to the Charlotte Fire Department from K-9 Caring Angels Therapy Dogs of Manassas, Virginia. K-9 Caring Angels has successfully placed over a dozen K-9’s in multiple fire departments throughout the country.

Charlotte Fire Department’s new K-9, Lady Katherine, is assigned to Fire Educator Rick Dunton, who serves as her primary handler. “Cat” is named after Katherine Hazemey who worked as a volunteer with K-9 Caring Angels. When Katherine passed away, K-9 Caring Angels wanted to honor her with a K-9 that would go on to serve others in her memory.

Cat was born on December 29th, 2019. She is an English Cream Golden Retriever and prior to joining Charlotte Fire, she was trained by “Sit Means Sit” trainer Samone Puffenbarger.  At only four months old, Cat completed her Canine Good Citizen examination through the American Kennel Club.

Her training will progress over the course of the next year, with the goal of having Cat and Rick certified as a therapy K-9 team in early 2021.

The Charlotte Fire Department Community Engagement K-9 Program is a self-funded program, which means it is not funded by taxpayer money. You can help support Cat and the CFD K-9 Program with your donation. Please visit Support CFD K-9's, be sure to note the donation as “K-9 Program.”


Watch Cat’s debut video.