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Our Companions

Friends of CFC


Turn the clock back to when you were 7 years old. Life was about Legos, teddy bears, cartoons, and chocolate chip cookies. The scariest thing you had to face was your teacher because you forgot to practice your spelling words, or maybe a sudden thunderstorm rolling in.  Now picture yourself walking into a full courtroom with what feels like hundreds of eyes on you while you sit alone in a witness box and the person that put you there is staring right at you.  Now you have to talk about something horrible that you would much rather forget and never acknowledge ever again.  Hard to imagine?  It is for most of us, but it is a reality for too many children today.

Companions for Courage is 501(3)c non-profit group made up of volunteer teams comprising of a handler and a special therapy dog that are there to “help make the sad things seem not so bad”.  The volunteers and their dogs help to give courage to these child victims by escorting them into the courtroom where the dog 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 foot. 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 dogs have been evaluated and been labeled as being “bomb proof”, meaning these dogs 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 dogs that will assist children in counseling sessions and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Companions for Courage dogs help to relax children that come into the Center and have to talk about things they would rather not talk about.  The Companions for Courage dogs 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 dogs are also available to sit in depositions with their kids. Handlers sign a confidentiality statement to ensure all statements remain confidential. This is another place where the dogs help these children to relax.

The Companions for Courage Dogs 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 school and children’s events visits.