Our Companions

Meet our Companions

Companions for Courage animals have been evaluated and labeled as being “bomb proof”: 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.  Companions for Courage is proud to be the approved Therapy Animal Provider for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Courts, and Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts of Florida.


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.

Our Handlers are professionals who have been working with their Therapy Animals for at least 2 years prior to becoming Companion for Courage members. Their animals have been exposed to nursing homes, hospitals, elementary school children, disabled children and adults, excessive crowds, and more. Our handlers are required to complete a background check and a fingerprint check before being accepted into Companions for Courage. Companion animals are also required to be deemed healthy by a veterinarian and be up to date on their rabies vaccination. All of our animals carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance.

All Active Companions
Karl is a special-needs dog; he is deaf, trained with American Sign Language he understands over 90 signs. Karl has overcome his disability and enjoys his life as a therapy dog; he brings love and happiness to seniors, children, children with special needs, and everyone he comes in contact with. Karl is well suited for the court room as he will provide loving support, will not worry about loud noises, and if it is a long session he will quietly take a nap. Karl’s workload has increased providing services to the children with humane education as well as after school activities. Karl is an ambassador, an inspiration as well as an educator for people who shied away from dogs with special needs. Karl does not know he is a special needs dog, and he has taught us more then we could ever hope to teach him. When Karl goes outside he likes to look around, smell the flowers, and check out the birds. He reminds us to slow down, smell the flowers and take in the beauty of the day.
Bella was born in February 2011, and is a very sweet Doberman Pinscher. She’s a loving, loyal, energetic and calm girl who loves to give and get attention. Bella is loved by all who meet her, and she plays an important role with Companions for Courage in Lake and Sumter Counties, as well as with the K-9th Circuit in Orange County.
Boomer is a Sheltie/Poodle mix who comes to us from Maine, where he was a Therapy Dog for many years, working at Maine General Hospital and Cancer Center. Boomer has been active in agility competition trials, and has also assisted in adult education classes which provided information to people interested in qualifying their dog for therapy volunteer work. Boomer is a hard working member of the Companions for Courage team, having visited with the Lake Sumter Children’s Advocacy Center and with work at the Lake and Sumter County courthouses.
Daisy-Mai is a pedigree Pomeranian and has been a registered Therapy Dog since 2011. Daisy is an active member of the Pet Therapy teams at Arnold Palmer Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, where she visits inpatients at both facilities. Daisy-Mai has achieved the title of “Advanced Therapy Dog” from the American Kennel Club, which signifies her completion of over 100 Pet Therapy visits. She continues her good works by regular visitations to the Juvenile Justice Center in Orlando for Companions for Courage as part of the K-9th Circuit team.
Kenai is a rescued American Akita who went through some tough times as a young dog – but he persevered and is now a big gentle soul who loves everyone. He especially loves anyone who will give him belly rubs.
Tilley is short for Matilda, which means “mighty in battle”, and that name fits because when she was just a puppy, she was abandoned and became very sick. But she was rescued by heroes and now has become one herself. She wants to share what she’s learned by being by your side. Let’s be brave together!
Born in 2012, Essie is a mixed breed rescue who loves everyone. She especially loves her work as a Therapy Dog and looks forward to helping the community as a member of Companions for Courage.
Born in May 2014, Maverick is a Golden-Doodle who loves to run and play. As a certified Therapy Dog, Maverick visits schools, nursing homes, and anywhere he can get hugs and rubs.  He has a special “doggy sense” when someone needs a little extra attention or love, and reminds everyone he meets that life’s easier with a friend by your side, which is what makes him an excellent Companion for Courage member.
Born in 2008, Jackson is a Golden Retriever and Black Lab mix. As a Therapy Dog, he has worked in nursing homes, hospitals and schools. He is also a READ (Reading Education Assistance Dog) dog and works with children’s reading programs. For fun, Jackson likes to swim, play fetch, go to the beach and ride in the car!
Emma is a Boxer, and a born Therapy Dog. Although she is special-needs herself, she does not let that stop her from having a sweet personality. Her first job as a Therapy Dog was at 4 months old when she was assigned to fulfill a hospice patient’s last request. The request had been for a dog to lay in his arms and give sweet puppy kisses, and Emma was happy to step up and to the job. What better way to leave this world then with puppy kisses! Emma continues to give love and therapy to all those in need.
Sophia is a sweet and gentle Boxer who was rescued in 2015.  She's been a Therapy Dog since that time and loves her job visiting both seniors and children.  Given the opportunity, she will step up in your lap and lean in for a hug.  Sophia lives with three other Therapy Dogs, a Therapy Cat, another cat, two bearded dragons and eight finches - and she'd love to be your friend too.  
Meet Blizzard.  Yes, she’s a Therapy Cat, and the first to join Companions for Courage!   Blizzard was turned in by her owners at age 7, when they realized that they could no longer take care of her.  The Animal League took her in the fall of 2014 where she made a home in their Cat Cottage.  During one of the Humane Education classes with a group of Girl Scouts in April of 2015, it was apparent that she was a hit with the girls – not only because of her unique markings on her face, but because she was so friendly to everyone.  She lives with her family that includes 5 dogs, birds, and an outdoor cat that comes in during storms or cold weather.  She’s been working in local schools as part of Humane Education program shortly after she was adopted and is also a registered Therapy Cat with Pet Partners.
Will, a mischievous but loving English Setter, was found in 2011 on an airplane tarmac in Tennessee with another English Setter, his beloved Kate.  He became a therapy dog soon after and is always so excited when he sees his vest - because he knows he is going on a visit!  Besides cuddling, he loves to swim, play games, and hide toys from our other dogs.
Dupont is a Labrador Retriever mix, and a former Service Dog who spent several years working with a deaf person.  He’s now a Therapy Dog who loves to visit people and be petted.  Dupont looks forward to going to go to the Courts to comfort children when they testify.
Retired in 2018 Bosco, a Parti Colored Standard Poodle (chocolate & white), was born on May 6, 2009.  As a puppy, he was socialized with patients, therapists and the staff at a Nursing Home his handler worked in at that time.  As he got older, it was obvious how sweet, gentle and calm he was and how he made people smile, so he was tested to become a Therapy Dog and soon joined Space Coast Therapy Dogs & Alliance of Therapy Dogs.  Since that time, Bosco has visited Nursing Homes, Hospice Centers, Alzheimer's & Dementia Memory Centers and has participated in local events & speaking engagements.  He loves everyone and patients especially like him since he's the right size to reach out and pet.  Now Bosco is a Courtroom Therapy Dog and will be working in the 18th Judicial Circuit Courts.
Darwin was found on a highway and picked up by a good citizen who contacted a local rescue group to find him a new home.  That was in 2013 when Darwin was about two years old – and since then, he’s battled severe skin issues and has had surgery on both knees – but now he’s doing well, and lives with four other dogs and two cats.  Darwin loves children, seniors and everyone in between, and is looking forward to being a Companion for Courage!
Josie is an Australian Shepherd/Lab mix who was rescued in May 2008.  She was tested and registered as a Therapy Dog later that summer, and has been a therapy dog ever since.  She and her owner have logged over 2,000 hours together as a team, and Josie was “Therapy Dog of the Year” in 2011.  She has a sweet, calm disposition, and her personality is adorable because she knows just the right look and mannerisms to use when she’s making visits with either children or the elderly.  But when she gets back home, she puts on her “at home” face, and it’s the cutest transformation.  She runs to her sister (black Lab) and out the door they go, chasing each other and whatever else is out in the yard.  Josie looks forward to her work with Companions for Courage in the 18th Judicial Circuit.
Farley was a skinny little 6 month old pup when he was rescued in 2010, but it became apparent right away that he was one special dog. He came with the name (after the cartoon character in the comic strip “For Better or Worse”) and it just fits with his exuberant, loving personality. Farley is a dog who never met a human or another dog he didn’t like, and is a great addition to our team.
Louie works in the 18th Judicial Circuit.
Born in 2011, Chief is a Boxer who is as sweet as can be - and who gives the best, sloppy kisses.