Therapy dog joins Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center to help kids through trauma

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 4:11 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Staff at the Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center in Bismarck say more kids than ever are in need of services. Advocates work with child victims of abuse, neglect, and other crimes, and they say the need for services has increased by roughly 200 kids each year over the past three years. Now, one more “staff member” hopes to help these kids.

Therapy dog Linus joined the Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center team last year. He’s now in training to help kids feel comfortable and safe when they are sharing about traumatic events.

“We all have specific kids that we work with that we know he would benefit them. So, he comes into sessions. Sometimes he sits next to them, and they can just love on him. Sometimes they need to just lay by him and hold him because it’s just too hard to talk about otherwise,” said Paula Condol, executive director for Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center.

Condol says she’s noticed the addition of the therapy dog has made a positive impact on staff members’ mental wellness as well.

Linus is a mini goldendoodle, which trainers say is a breed known for its human fondness, loyalty, and intelligence.