Healing Hearts after a Firefighter Tragedy

The Asheville community was deeply saddened last week when an office building fire took the life of Captain Jeff Bowen, a 37-year old firefighter and injured 12 other brave firemen. Adding to the tragedy is this week’s finding that the fire was set by an arsonist. The building contained medical offices, including an oncology practice and other clinics that treat many elderly and frail patients. Fortunately, the occupants were evacuated to safety. Knowing the healing power of pets, staff at the Asheville Humane Society decided to waive adoption fees for city and county firefighters and their families, over the next two months. According to Katherine McGowan, Asheville Humane Society CEO, “The unconditional love and cheerful comedy of an animal companion can often help heal emotional wounds and distract from the sorrow that inevitably comes with tragedy. We learned  that Captain Bowen had a dog that he dearly loved, Tyson, who is confused and sad…wondering about the whereabouts of his beloved friend. The power of animals to heal and comfort those in need is immeasurable and this is just our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those men and women who serve and protect us.” On Friday the Bowen family came to the Asheville Humane Society and adopted the beautiful black puppy pictured. May she bring much love and healing to this tragic loss.

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