If you haven’t met Hank, the infamous shaggy addition to Churchill County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), now is your opportunity.
Hank is a therapy dog for CASA of Churchill County, a state and national organization that helps children who have experienced abuse or neglect find safe and loving permanent homes. They also stand up for children as they travel through the court system, giving them a voice. In Churchill County, this means that they help keep children from falling through the cracks in an overburdened system and oversee that the child’s best interests are served.
While CASA is always seeking caring volunteers, one volunteer, in particular, has been having a fabulous and furry impact on local CASA kids - Hank the Therapy Dog. By far, the favorite volunteer, Hank, provides something for these children that no human can. He offers hairy hugs, wet nose nuzzles, and occasionally free slobbers with his kisses. As his fame and notoriety have continued to grow, Hank received a call for a celebrity photoshoot with Laura Howard of Howieloo Photography. Naturally, he obliged.
According to CASA Program Manager Shana Clark-Plount, Hank and CASA staff have been allowed to rejoin the program children in court during hearings. For over a year, the courts had to conduct all hearings via Zoom web conferencing. “Recently, one of the kids walked Hank into court with her – he absolutely adores her,” said Clark-Plount, “and now she wants to be a veterinarian and work with animals someday.”
Animal-Assisted Therapy for Children can offer many benefits to children that have experienced abuse or neglect. Some of the most notable benefits include helping reduce blood pressure, pain, stress, and feelings of loneliness and isolation reducing anxiety and depression help enhance self-esteem and self-confidence, and increasing feelings of hope, happiness, and security. These are just to name a few.
Hank takes his role as a therapy dog very seriously and continues to offer his love and support to his clients. Along with other dogs like him that help to support CASA children nationwide, Hank has foregone being man’s best friend to his K-9 cousins and has taken on the vital role of being our CASA kids’ best friend instead.
If you would like more information to volunteer, contact CASA at 775-423-6008 Ext 1004.
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