Buford Paws for Healing Program

Individuals who have been paired with Emotional Support Animals show dramatic improvement working through a range of challenges like PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress and trauma. The CACSC is happy to introduce our newest team members, Remi and Odie! Remi is a licensed emotional support dog available to children, families, and staff to provide a comforting presence. He will be joined by Odie, who was born in the summer of 2021. Odie will complete a series of trainings before joining therapy sessions as a licensed therapy dog in 2022.

The Paws for Healing Program is dedicated to Martha Buford.  Ms. Buford first got involved with the CACSC in 2008 following her call for jury duty and being exposed to another Child Advocacy Center.  Martha was a driving force behind the development and startup of the CACSC, and she continued to advocate for children within our community throughout her life.  In her honor, due to her love of dogs and the care for the clients the CACSC serves, a comfort dog and therapy dog program has been started with a very generous donation from Bob Buford, Martha’s husband.  We are privileged to name our comfort and therapy dog program Buford’s Paws for Healing Program in honor of Martha, who was a long standing supporter to the CACSC. Buford’s Paws for Healing Program will provide a comforting environment for clients when they come to the CACSC.

Research shows that children who have spent as little as one week’s time with an Emotional Support Animal like Remi or Odie saw a decrease in trauma effects by 82%.*

(*Journal of Evidence-based Social Work)

What can I help with?

  • I can help children regulate their emotions.
  • Reassure children that they are safe while overcoming trauma.
  • Provide a sense of calm for someone experiencing anxiety or stress.
  • Empower children with learning and behavioral disabilities.
  • Connect to children who may struggle to bond with their peers or adults.

How does this work?

With permission, Remi will be introduced to a child, family, or individual at the CACSC. His training helps him recognize when someone is experiencing distress, approach that person calmly and quietly, and offer them support by laying his head on their lap or his body near them. Remi’s warmth, softness, and gentle demeanor help our own brains to release the chemical oxytocin, which is responsible for “warm fuzzy” feelings like love, social bonding, and overall wellbeing.

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