Cayce Fire Department introduces SC’s First Registered Fire Department Therapy Horse

The Cayce Fire Department (CFD) is embarking on an innovative venture to enhance community outreach and education by introducing South Carolina’s first registered Fire Department Therapy Horse, Muffin. This groundbreaking initiative aims to utilize Muffin’s unique abilities to educate people across the Midlands on fire safety and drug awareness. The official launch of this exciting program is scheduled for May 2nd.

Muffin, a 5-year-old miniature horse, has undergone rigorous training to become a registered therapy horse, meeting Pet Partners’ equine standards for pet therapy. Alongside her handler, Lindsay McDade, Cayce’s Community Risk Reduction Manager, Muffin has achieved the highest rating during the team evaluation and is now officially registered as a pet therapy team.

The newly established “Muffin Cares” program is designed to address community needs by fostering connections, reducing stigma, and instilling hope. This comprehensive initiative will deliver vital fire safety information, drug prevention resources, and resilience-building tools. Moreover, it will facilitate connections to nonprofit partners such as The Courage Center and LRADAC.

Steven Bullard, Cayce Fire Chief, emphasized the importance of face-to-face interaction in an increasingly technology-driven society, particularly for younger generations. Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), like the “Muffin Cares” program, serve as a valuable tool to restore personal connections and engage individuals in various community settings, including rehabilitation, education, and community-based events.

Lindsay McDade expressed her aspirations to raise $10,000 during the upcoming Midlands Gives event on May 7th. These funds will support the Cayce Public Safety Foundation in acquiring additional equipment for Muffin and producing outreach materials such as coloring books to be distributed across the Midlands. The Cayce Fire Department is committed to leveraging Muffin’s presence to make a meaningful impact on fire safety awareness and drug prevention efforts throughout the region.

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