current therapy dog

Marlin

John Dunphy & Marlin 2018-3.jpg

Introducing Marlin…Therapy Dog at ECCAC

Meet Marlin, a trained therapy dog and his owner/handlers, John and Lisa Dunphy. They help make the day a little better and brighter for child victims receiving services at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC). 

Marlin is a Border Collie, and once served the ECCAC with his pup-mate Tiny, a Great Pyrenees. Unfortunately, the beloved Tiny had left us but found his way to heaven. The Dunphy’s got the rescue dogs from a kennel in Kansas City. They have since passed the testing and training to be certified as TPC (Therapy Patient Connections) Good Citizenship Dogs. The Dunphy’s and their dogs have also been through training Animal Assisted Interaction classes. 

“We volunteer with Tiny and Marlin to help out every other week at ECCAC’s Niceville Center,” commented the Dunphy’s. “As well, we make visits to the Gulf Coast Treatment Center for young girls in Ft. Walton Beach and the Twin Cities Pavilion assisted living facility in Niceville.

John Murphy with his Border Collie, Marlin.

John Murphy with his Border Collie, Marlin.

Lisa Dunphy In-Remberance with her Great Pyrenees, Tiny.

Lisa Dunphy In-Remberance with her Great Pyrenees, Tiny.

Abbey

Meet Abbey, a trained 4-year old Maltese therapy dog and her owner/handlers, Roslyn Lindeman and Jennifer Town. Once a week, Abbey and the ladies help make the day a little better and brighter for child victims receiving services at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) in Niceville.

Both ladies worked together with accomplished careers as registered nurses, Jennifer, a Captain in the Navy Nurse Corps, and Roselynn, in Civil Service. Along with Abbey, the ladies completed fifteen weeks of Basic, Advanced and Urbvan Pet and Handler Training at Pawtopia in San Diego, California. Abbey successfully passed the test as AKC Canine Good Citizen and became certified in February 2017. 

Shortly thereafter, Abbey and her owners joined the Armed Forces YMCA Pet Therapy Program at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, visiting both inpatients and outpatients of all ages and illnesses. Per Naval records, Abbey and the ladies collectively registered 168 hours of Animal Assisted Therapy with an impressive estimated 7,500 staff, patient and visitor interactions for 2017. 

All three retired to the Destin area last year and have become quite immersed in the caring world of volunteering to help others. According to the ladies, “We truly believe that Abbey was born to be a Therapy/Comfort Dog. Her disposition is such that just seeing, touching or being around her makes people comfortable and happy. No matter how young, how old, how happy or how sad they are, she seems to know exactly what to do.”

Currently Abbey visits and "works" at the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center in Niceville three hours a week. She is also part of the Pet Therapy Program at FWB/Valparaiso Airport where she meets and greets travelers. In her spare time, she is the local "ambassador" for tourists and residents alike in and around their home in Destin. 

A total of nine therapy dogs and their owner/handlers are helping the kids at both centers. ECCAC’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties and restore the lives and futures of these impacted children and their families. For further information, visit www.eccac.org. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE

Abbey, the 4-year old Maltese therapy dog for ECCAC and VPS airport, with owner/handlers Roslyn Lindeman and Jennifer Town.

Cody and Riley

Jacqui Broadus & Riley 2018-3.jpg
Jackqui Broadus & Cody 2018-3.jpg

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.”

Jackqui Broadus & Cody 2018-1.jpg
Above - Jacqui Broadus and Riley, a Maltese. Below – Jacqui with Cody, a Malti-Poo.

Above - Jacqui Broadus and Riley, a Maltese. Below – Jacqui with Cody, a Malti-Poo.

Elsa

Dan Holmes & Elsa 2018-3.jpg

Introducing Elsa…Therapy Dog at ECCAC

Niceville, FL (July 15, 2018)…Meet Elsa, a trained Great Pyrenees therapy dog and her owner/handler, Dan Holmes. Elsa helps make the day a little better and brighter for child victims receiving services at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) in Niceville.

Dan got Elsa at Alaqua Animal Refuge. He then went through six weeks of beginner obedience training, six weeks of intermediate obedience training and three weeks of training to enable an AKC Canine Good Citizen certification for Elsa. 

In the last fifteen months, Elsa and Dan have made 130 therapy dog visits, including one court appearance last December to help an ECCAC child victim deal with the stress of a court appearance. Basically, for four days of every week, Dan and Elsa volunteer by going to the Niceville ECCAC; remedial classes at Freeport Elementary where a child reads to Elsa; The Manor at Blue Water Bay; a visit to the Destin/FWB Airport to greet passengers; and they have just started going to the Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida. Indeed, they keep one busy schedule spreading happiness and help to many.

Dan Holmes and his Great Pyrenees, Elsa.

Dan Holmes and his Great Pyrenees, Elsa.

Annie

Annie border collie.png

Introducing Annie… Therapy Dog at ECCAC

Meet Annie, a trained Border Collie therapy dog and her owner/handler, Kathy Kent. Once a week, Annie and Kathy help make the day a little better and brighter for child victims receiving services at the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs.

Trained from when she was a puppy, Annie is certified by TDI (Therapy Dogs International). The now 3 year-old Annie has been in numerous AKC Championship competitions earning many titles such as Herding, Lure Course and Barn Hunt. Kathy has a total of four dogs, of which two are therapy dogs, and she has been showing her dogs in competition for seventeen years.

Kathy Kent and her Border Collie, Annie

Kathy Kent and her Border Collie, Annie