“Patriot” the husky has some very distinct scars from injuries he suffered through abuse when he was a puppy. He was four months old when he was found malnourished and with metal wire wrapped around his jaw. Now he is helping children with scars both visible and hidden, by giving them the strength to testify against their abusers in court.
Kevin Marlin was used to seeing abused animals as the executive director of the PAWS program for the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). But something drew him to Patriot, and he adopted him. “What really drew me to him was the innocence of his deep blue eyes,” He told This Dog’s Life [https://www.thisdogslife.co/abused-dog-now-helps-abused-children/].
After healing from his injuries, Patriot was enrolled in therapy training where he showed he had natural instincts to help people, and he’s since assisted the Orange County District Attorney’s office on a number of cases.
Marlin told People.com, “They’ll look at me and say, ‘Somebody hurt him’, and I’ll tell them, ‘Yes. Somebody wasn’t very nice to him, but he’s doing well now.’ Patriot shows that there is hope in moving on with life and getting past the emotional pain. Kids sit and pet him while they talk to attorneys and investigators and they immediately feel more comfortable. Reliving what happened to them is difficult, but he helps them to feel calm and gives them courage and strength.”
Courtroom dogs are nothing new. They’re used to help victims feel more comfortable in court and give details that can be difficult to share with strangers. What is new, is children having a friend that knows exactly what they’re going through. To be able to look into Patriot’s innocent blue eyes and see themselves -- Knowing they’ll get through this too.
Watch the video to see how Patriot gives strength and hope.