Introducing Riley and Cody…Therapy Dogs at ECCAC
Niceville and DeFuniak Springs, FL (July 15, 2018)…Meet Riley and Cody, trained therapy dogs and their owner/handler, Jacqui Broadus. They help make the day a little better and brighter for child victims receiving services at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Centers (ECCAC) in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs.
Jacqui Broadus is a licensed Mental Health Counselor Supervisor on staff at ECCAC and a Registered Pet Partners Therapist. Jacqui took the lead in pet therapy programs at ECCAC beginning in 2010. That’s when she brought Riley, the adorable Maltese, who is also a Registered Pet Partner and an official AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog™, to ECCAC in Niceville to work with the kids.
Riley sits in on group sessions and is also prescribed for individual therapy. He helps the kids learn self-confidence and the kids teach him tricks. In group sessions, he often instinctively sits in front of the child who feels the worst. In fact, according to the therapists, kids will tell Riley things they won’t tell them. The kids will say, “I’ll tell Riley, you can listen if you want.”
Then Jacqui also brought Cody in as an additional therapy dog to help Riley. Over the years, Jacqui and her trained four-legged partners have put in hundreds and hundreds of hours helping child victims. Riley is getting older and working his way towards retirement soon. Cody is going full steam ahead working a full time 40-hour week at the centers.
“When Jacqui brought Riley into the lives of ECCAC children, little did she know she would help create a legacy and new world of hope for children,” said ECCAC CEO Julie Hurst-Porterfield. “Our total of nine therapy dogs and their owners just absolutely warm the hearts and souls of the children and families we serve.”