November 19, 2020
Child Protection Center’s PAWS Program Celebrates 10 Years – Therapy dogs bring comfort to victims of child abuse for past decade
The Child Protection Center (CPC)’s Pet Advocates Working in the Suncoast (PAWS) program celebrates its 10th anniversary. The PAWS program offers support and comfort to children and families who have suffered through child abuse.
PAWS utilizes nationally certified pet therapy dogs whose Handlers are volunteers who have received training on mandatory reporting of child abuse and dynamics that surround child sexual abuse. PAWS dogs have been utilized in the following capacity: stress relief for clients and staff, the State Attorney’s Office for pre-filing interviews, depositions and trial, YMCA Youth Shelter, Ringling College students, state and national presentations with the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Center and the National Child Protection Training Center.
This program was founded by Danielle Hughes, Team Coordinator of the Child Protection Team and 2020’s Child Advocate of the Year. Danielle’s own dog, Harley Duke, inspired her to create the program to benefit children in the traumatic and stressful situations that occur after child abuse.
The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse. CPC has been serving Sarasota & DeSoto Counties since 1980. In fiscal year 2020, The CPC provided 66,698 services to individuals. For more information on CPC, please call 941-365-1277.