In a further effort to minimize trauma to children, the CAC Board of Directors has approved the use of a therapy dog at the CAC to greet and wait with children and their families! Therapy dogs empower victims and provide emotional support. There is a body of scientific evidence proving dogs are the one animal who impact our blood pressure and other health indicators in a positive way. Minimizing stress for victims and their families is consistent with our mission. Therapy dogs are routinely used at hospitals and recently started working at airports to alleviate stress for travelers. The CAC has taken a leadership role in Los Angeles and is the first agency to start this kind of program by entering into a partnership with The Pet Prescription TEAM who will provide the volunteer handlers and therapy dogs. To read more about Pet Prescription TEAM, please read more at http://www.petprescriptionteam.com/.
Below are links to articles that discuss the importance of therapy dogs:
National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse: How Therapy Animals Can Help Maltreated Children (2010) http://www.ncdsv.org/images/NDAA_HowTherapyAnimals_Update_v22n7.pdf
Prosecutor’s Brief (CDAA Quarterly Journal) It’s About Dog-Gone Time: Courthouse Dogs (2012) http://www.courthousedogs.com/pdf/CourthouseDogs-ProsecutorsBrief.pdf