Based in Central Florida, Companions for Courage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization consisting of volunteer teams comprising of a handler and a special Therapy Animal that are there to “help make the sad things seem not so bad”. The volunteers and their animals help to give courage to child victims of abuse by escorting them into the courtroom where the Companion sits with the child in the witness box. If the child becomes nervous or uncomfortable, they can pat their Companion or rub them with their feet.
Sometimes it’s hard to speak to a room full of strangers, so they can look at their Companion, as long as the people in the courtroom can hear them speak. Companions for Courage animals have been evaluated and been labeled as being “bomb proof”, meaning they do not react to loud noises, sudden movement, or other distractions. Their focus is to be a Companion, or best friend for their child, and nothing else.
We have other animals that can assist children in counseling sessions at the Children’s Advocacy Center. The Companions for Courage animals help to relax the children that come into the Center and have to talk about things they would rather not talk about. The Companions for Courage animals are the best secret keepers and the children know that their secret will not go any further than the walls of the room or the ears of their Companion.
Our teams are also available to sit in during depositions with the child. This is another place where the Companions help these children to relax. Our handlers sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure all statements remain confidential.
The Companions for Courage animals are there for virtually any child in need – whether it be in a hospital room, a counseling center, or even a shelter, our teams are ready to visit. We even make special visits to schools and children’s events.
Companions for Courage is an all-volunteer organization, and as such, all of our services are provided free of charge.
"Helping to make the sad things not so bad"
"Helping to make the sad things not so bad" Did you ever wonder where our tagline comes from? It came from a letter from one of the very first children that our founder, Woolf, helped. In the letter, the child thanks Woolf and gives him his St Christopher medal. This was the beginning of Companions for Courage.
We'd like to give special thanks to our friends, supporters, and partners: