Who We Are

Canine Therapy for First Responders Non-Profit (792496937) was founded in February 2019 by Friends, Family and First Responder Industry Colleagues in honor of Officer Robb Costello, after the line of duty murders of two Fredericton Police Force members, Constable Robb Costello (306) and Constable Sara Mae Burns (401) on August 10, 2018. 

CTFFR was created to “aid and assist the Mental Health of First Responders by introducing Canine Therapy Support and Facility dogs to New Brunswick's First Responders”. This is our mission statement and mandate. 

New Brunswick is the number one province for First Responder Line of Duty Deaths due to suicide. 

Our founding members are First Responders/Members or Family of/Close Friends of Officer Costello. This connection, first and foremost, sets us apart from any other Canine program we've encountered. 

We know the tragedies first hand, have lived them. We have all heard the echoes of hundreds of thousands of marching boots way too many times. 

Canine Therapy for First Responders (CTFFR) has developed a model to introduce Canine Therapy Facility Dogs into the First Responder workplaces by creating strong collaborative relationships with both the Leaders of Organizations and the Members themselves.   

Our group has spent 2.5 years building the required level of trust to work with agencies as follows:  


  • Kennebecasis Regional Police Force (Full K9 Deployment May 2019 - RoSa K9) 

  • Saint John Police Force (training rights, March 2019-May 2019 RoSa K9, October 2019-December 2019 training rights, comfort to Officers and 911 communication specialists.) 

  • New Brunswick Government - Department of Safety and Security, Saint John Courthouse (CharlieB K9 worked from November 2019-March 13, 2020). Was exclusively granted Court of Queens Bench Judicial permission to film a mini documentary about his work behind closed doors. 

  • Ambulance New Brunswick - CharlieB K9 routinely visited the Saint John City Road main location, once spending the night, and often with members on the road. He routinely ‘chased ambulances’. He visited out stations throughout the province from Moncton, Fredericton, Miramichi, Bathurst, Tracadie, Saint John, Saint George, Saint Stephen, Lepreau, Riverview, Hillsborough, Alma, Hampton, Sussex (over 35+ stations during Covid19). 

  • New Brunswick Government - Department of Justice, Saint John Courthouse. While CharlieB was requested to work for Dept of Security, employees from Department of Justice often ‘stole him’ to their departments including Crown Prosecutorial Staff, Judges, Stenographers. 

  • RCMP - Both of our K9’s actively visited RCMP Responder stations throughout the province to bring moments of levity to members (combined the K9’s travelled 300K prior to their deployments). 

  • October 2020, our Founder and Director along with Charlie B-K9 received a prestigious award given to only 89 Individuals in New Brunswick. The Province of New Brunswick Award for ‘Stepping up’ for his Province during Covid and supporting the many First Responders along his travels. His nomination was submitted by IAFF 771 Saint John Firefighters, who 'unofficially' assisted tremendously in his training.  

Canine Therapy for First Responders (CTFFR Atlantic) is a registered New Brunswick non-profit that was created by First Responders, and Friends/Family Members in honor of Fredericton Police Force’s Constable Robb Costello and Constable Sara Burns. Our mission is to provide Atlantic Canada’s First Responders with Certified Facility Dogs and Certified Service dogs for FREE. Understanding one size does not fit all when it comes to this highly stressful industry, we offer supportive Mental Health Program offering a host of mental health programs and Partner programs via our Mental Health Advisory panel.