My name is Adam Pierce. From the time I was a teenager all I wanted to be was a law enforcement officer. I loved the idea of catching the bad guys and making it easier for the good people to sleep at night. I worked hard and even got into the police academy at an early age. I started working as a deputy at 19 years of age and found out that I was rather good at my job. I enjoyed working in the rougher areas of town. It gave me an opportunity to gain a rapport with the good residents of the area while still chasing down the bad guys.
All of that changed for me though on Monday, October 10th, 2005. While attempting to assist another deputy in arresting a drug dealer he pulled out a gun and shot me twice. Once in the head and once in the neck. The second bullet went through my lung and into my spinal cord, severing it. My life completely changed at that moment. I was 25 years old.
I went on to recover as much as possible and learn to live my life from a wheelchair with a spinal cord injury. I tried to continue working in law enforcement for many years but eventually, the physical and mental pain of going to work every day got to me and I retired in 2016.
Retirement was brought on time and with time came reflection. I hadn’t dealt with my injury and as I lived retired life I began to have anxiety and panic attacks. Then depression. I started medication but eventually, it stopped working and I was in a bad place. One day, something inside me told me that I needed a service dog. I hoped having a companion like that would help me.
I started looking into the process of finding a service dog but discovered a few problems. I wasn’t military firstly. Being injured as a law enforcement officer the way I was is tragic but, admittedly uncommon. There were plenty of organizations dedicated to helping out soldiers but none for law enforcement. I looked into buying a dog and found the cost to be astronomical and that didn’t include training.
By chance one day, I happened to mention to a military veteran friend who has a dog that I was looking for one. He excitedly told me to lookup an organization called Corsos For Heros out of Tampa. That they gave cane Corsos out as service dogs. I was appreciative but skeptical due to my status as only police. I contacted them anyway though and after speaking to Harry for maybe 15 minutes he told me they wanted to give me a dog. I was stunned and overjoyed.
Several months later Nova came along and has saved my life. She’s been challenging at times but she makes every day worthwhile. She’s shown me that it’s ok to just….be. She’s now 10 months old and has graduated basic obedience, is doing well in advanced, and has started learning service dog commands like touch and hold. She somehow knows how to handle my anxiety without even being taught. She sleeps with me at night and eases my wake-up in the mornings. She’s helped me feel more at ease in stores and comforts me when I have to get gas; I was shot at a gas station.
Harry and Corsos For Heroes are unbelievable. His dedication to people he doesn’t even know is more than admirable. He’s saving lives every day and deserves everything he needs in life to continue his work.
DFC Adam Pierce
Ret. Orange County Sheriff’s Office