By the time you finish reading this, five children will have been physically or sexually abused in some manner. How will you choose to respond?
Please consider donating to CAC on November 27 so we may continue our fight against child abuse.
Visit our FB page @cacswfl or DONATE HERE. Thank you.
When a child is required to go to court, that’s scary enough, but to go to court and testify against the abuser; well you can only imagine. The therapy dogs and their handlers here at the Children’s Advocacy Center are able to help with the stress in our own special way.
Fansee, an English Cream Golden Retriever therapy dog owned by Kim Corby, waits patiently outside the courtroom doors, secure in the knowledge that the child she needs to help is testifying just on the other side. When the child emerges, Fansee’s tail wags with glee as she is simultaneously enveloped by the arms of a child in need.
Our courtroom dog program, which began in 2016, took a big step this year with the help of judges and state attorneys. CAC’s volunteer therapy dogs are now allowed to be outside of the courtroom with children who are waiting to testify in the criminal side of their case. Our volunteer pet teams are in the Family Court area as well.
Each of our ten court dog teams has a red vest emblazoned with a patch of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, which makes it clear to everyone that this is indeed a very special dog. Once the team passes through security, they take a short elevator ride to the third floor and the Family Court waiting area. Here you may find one of the dogs sprawled on the floor with a young one brushing the dog’s hair, or one of the attorneys with a big smile on his face while he pets the four-legged ambassador. Often, the judges themselves may take a break just to spend some time with these incredibly special dogs.
When the State’s Attorney has a child that will be testifying against an abuser, their office will contact Lisa Talcott, CAC’s Pet Therapy Coordinator, to schedule a team to be at court to comfort that child before and after testifying. The calming affect that the dog has on the child is immediately evident; their breathing slows and a calmness envelopes both the dog and the child.
Our hope is that one day the therapy dogs will be allowed in the courtroom with their child so they may be an unseen comfort as they testify. For now, these amazing dogs will be spreading their love, one child at a time in the waiting area outside the Family Courtroom!
Thank you to Skillets for its ongoing financial support, to Barraco & Associates for the wonderful donation of food for our pantry, to Wildcat Run Charitable Foundation for its generous holiday donation, to Gartner for thinking of us with an amazing gift card donation and to all the area businesses who donated to our United Way raffle: Love Boat Ice Cream, HeadPinz, Shoot Straight, Coastline Window Cleaning, Massage Heights Gulf Coast, Changes Hair Studio, Shell Factory, Buffalo Wings & Rings, J.C. Cruises, Miracles Baseball, Jungle Golf, Yoga Bird, Dianne Ferazzi and Toddy Kean. With your help and our 100% employee pledge participation, we raised $15,782!
Copyright 2018, Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida.
Notice of Privacy Practices. All Rights Reserved.
If you know of or suspect child abuse, call 1-800-962-2873. Caller information is kept confidential.
Accredited by the National Children's Alliance and the Council on Accreditation. CAC is proud to be a United Way partner agency.
Save the Date for CAC’s annual Bling & Bags Bingo fundraiser:
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Now at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops!
Join us for a fun “girls night out!”
* Buffet Dinner * Chinese Auction * Raffles * Door Prize
* 16 Bingo Game Cards to Win Fine Jewelry & Designer Bags
Tickets on sale now at www.eventbrite.com
Calling all sponsors and raffle basket donors—we need you! Here's your chance to put your company or product in front of
300 professional women.
Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 939-2808.