Dog Helps Kids During Child Abuse InvestigationsPosted: Updated:
Just look at that face and that wagging tail. If you feel comforted, Emelia is doing her job.
The two-year-old pup is the newest team member at the Child Advocacy Center in Watertown.
"Emelia provides support for children who are going through the investigation process when there's been an allegation of abuse," said Amy Quonce, program director, Child Advocacy Center.
This can be a scary time for these children and Emelia will be right beside them during forensic interviews, in court before they testify, or even just playing the waiting room at the center.
Emelia has only been here six weeks, but the people here say they've already seen the difference that she makes.
"One child actually had an appointment with a district attorney and she was very scared at her first appointment. That was before we have Emilia. So then we offered to bring Emilia to her next appointment with them and she talked, she looked them in the eye. She was just so much more comfortable with Emelia in the room," said Quonce.
Emelia comes from an organization called Canine Companions for Independence and she's a 'first' for the group.
"She is the only facilities dog in a child advocacy center in the state of New York," said Jill Parker, executive director, Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County.
Since the Child Advocacy Center serves Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties, this furry friend can help support children across the region.