Canine Advocacy

Victims of sexual assault are: 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

After experiencing a traumatic event, PTSD can become a burden affecting many with: panic attacks, sudden mood swings, difficulty in social settings, and an overall inability to return to life as it was before the assault occurred. In recent years, animal assisted therapy has been shown to provide life-altering advantages to those who struggle with PTSD symptoms. 


Therapy dogs are trained to calm someone having an anxiety or panic attack. Aspen, Fair Haven’s Certified Therapy Dog, has been trained to gently comfort and soothe clients by "hugging" or nestling up to the person by leaning against their leg or lying at/on their feet. She loves unconditionally! When our clients walk through the door, she is immediately happy to see them. Her tail wags and she "smiles" as they approach her. Having her on the greeting committee impacts the victims overall counseling experience.


Working at Fair Haven since she was just 9 weeks old, Aspen has grown into a beautiful two-year-old Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever weighing 85 pounds. She shares an office space with her handler and our Executive Director, Kelly Vates.  When they are not working with clients, they are out in the community spreading awareness and educating others of the long term effects of sexual abuse.


In addition to client services, our long term goal is to use Aspen in the schools to engage young children with our original anti-violence campaign, “Paws Off” .  This campaign will consist of coloring books featuring a "cartooned" Aspen and a series of books that highlight  Aspen's many experienes at the doggie day care. The intention of each story will focus on abuse prevention, violence prevention, respect and tolerance of others differences.   

Contact Us Today!

To schedule an appointment or find out more about the services we offer, please call (219) 961-4357 or send us an email.


Or use our contact form.

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