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
Livvie was born in Cleveland, Tennessee, on December 20, 2019.  She was formally accepted into the Alliance of Therapy Dogs in February, 2021. Livvie now works as a team with her handler at Nemours Children’s Hospital in the Animal Assisted Activity program. Livvie is already exhibiting the qualities so desired in dogs who work with children. She is quiet, calm, focused on her task and appropriately affectionate, which is so helpful in making the very youngest of patients smile!


Zak is a German Shepherd who was born in a New York guide dog foundation in 2015.  Zak's dream was to be a therapy dog rather than a guide dog, so he was adopted out at 9 weeks old.  Zak grew into a wonderful boy and has been an amazing therapy dog since he was a year old.  He has a particular fondness for children---and lots of love and attention!
Kaiyah was born in March of 2018.  She currently enjoys her “job” as a Therapy Dog and especially loves her visits with the children at Camp Boggy Creek and can’t wait until she can visit there again.  She is looking forward to providing comfort and love to the children during stressful times in the courts with Companions for Courage.
Hi my name is Harley. I was found on the streets of the Florida panhandle and taken to a really nice rescue in Brooksville, Fl, called Wags2Riches. I am a happy, energetic girl who really loves people. I am so excited I passed the requirements for Companions for Courage! I know it won’t be long before the work Companions for Courage does will be needed again, and I will be ready with a big smile and a wagging tail!
My previous dog and I volunteered through the Orlando SPCA and visited primarily memory care and assisted living homes for approximately 5 years. Milo, my current dog, a 6 year old Golden Doodle, was bred for a calm temperament and has proven to be a laid back, friendly, lovable boy. He and I were certified by Pet Partners in 2019. We attended a few events but the pandemic caused a stop to any volunteer work. I am so pleased to have found Companions for Courage and to have passed the certification! It is a truly noble cause, and Milo and I are looking forward to helping.
Born in November 2009, Jake is a Yellow Labrador Retriever who loves swimming, playing catch and being a Therapy Dog. As a Therapy Dog, Jake enjoys meeting new people, but especially loves to visit the kids at Camp Boggy Creek. He is still a playful pup, but when he puts on his vest, he knows it’s time to be serious. Jake is proud to be one of the founding members of Companions for Courage and the K-9th Circuit.  He retired from active Court service in 2018, but still helps out with the events we attend.
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.
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.
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.
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 2015, Summer is sweet, laid-back, Black Labrador Retriever who started her life at Southeastern Guide Dogs. Summer completed the program to become a guide dog but decided that being a guide dog was not a career for her. After returning to Mount Dora, she became a PAWS Therapy Dog, and loves it when children read to her and when she gets pats and hugs from our older citizens in nursing homes.
Benni was adopted from the Ontario County Humane Society, in Canandaigua NY in December of 2011.  He was healthy and reasonably groomed when he was found, but no one came forward to claim him after his picture was placed the local paper.  Since being adopted, Benni has shown that he enjoys being around people and really responds to both giving and receiving attention.  He now lives with his family in The Villages and is ready to take on a new chapter as a member of Companions for Courage.