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Meet Aspen! Certified Therapy Dog.

by Fair Haven, Inc
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Meet Aspen!  Certified Therapy Dog.
Aspen celebrating 5 years!
Aspen celebrating 5 years!

Thank you so very much for your continued support of Aspen, Fair Haven Rape Crisis Center's Certified Therapy Dog.  As our Therapy Dog program is 100% community supported, your generous donations go directly to provide this special service to all our clients (and our staff reap a benefit too!)

Last year, Fair Haven Rape Crisis Center provided 3,347 services to 276 survivors of sexual assault.  2019 was our largest service year in our 15 year history.  We provide 24/7/365 service & response to all 10 hospitals/ER's within our community.  Our support groups & individual advocacy servcies are offered throughout the week and no charge!  We are here to help.

February 2020 marked five years for Aspen working with victims of sexual violence at Fair Haven and we celebrated with a cake for both Aspen & the staff!

Aspen has grown so much in the last five years and I don't just mean her size! Her training has been built on routine and it has proven very successful.  She sits by the door waiting for group participants to come and wants to be the first to greet them.  Clients arrive early just to sip a cup of coffee and get lots of support from Aspen.

During the COVID19 Pandemic, all of our in-person services have been moved to virtual platforms.  Additionally, Therapy Dogs International has mandated that all visits with clients be suspended until shelter in place orders are lifted.  As you can imagine, Aspen has been very sad to not go to her "spot" in the office and see her regular clients.  Every morning she sits near the back door waiting to go to the car (pictured below).

For Indiana, our shelter in place orders begin to lift May 1, 2020.  As we gratdually reopen for in-person services, Aspen will be there waiting to greet everyone!  Until then, stay safe & healthy!

Aspen celebrating with her friend & Coworker.
Aspen celebrating with her friend & Coworker.
Aspens first day on the job!  How far we have come
Aspens first day on the job! How far we have come

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working with clients preping for court
working with clients preping for court

Hello supporters and Merry Christmas!

Thank you so very much for your continued support of Aspen!  As our Therapy Dog program is 100% community supported, your generous donations go directly to provide this service to all our clients of sexual violence.

At Fair Haven Rape Crisis Center, we provide 24/7/365 services to survivors of sexual violence.  We respond to all 10 hospital/ER's within our community and provide ongoing support at no charge to our clients.  One of our services is judicial advocacy.  This is where a victim advocate attends police intervies, forensic interviews and court appearances with surivors.  In addition, we also work with survivors to prepare them for courp depositions. 

As you can imagine, going to court can be stressful.  For our young clients who have to talk about their expereinces in court, it can be particularly difficult!  Aspen visits with our clients before, during and after their appointments to help them mitigate feelings and normalize the judical process.  Aspen presses herself into a client by leaning into them to help with grounding and affection.  After a long session, this is exactly what our two sister clients needed!

As 2020 quickly approaches, we wish you a very Happy New Year! 

Christmas 2019
Christmas 2019
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Aspen's new photo for her office ID
Aspen's new photo for her office ID

Happy Fall everyone!

Thank you for your continued support of Aspen, our agency Therapy Dog.  The services provided by Aspen are completely community funded!  Which means, we truly could not offer this special support option to the survivors of sexual violence that we serve without your generous suppot!  Every donation we recieve goes direclty to support the cost or having Aspen as part of our team!  Thank you so much!

Recenlty, I was doing some research on Therpay Dogs and the impact on those struggling with mental distress and I found this article that UCLA recently published on their scientific research findings regarding Therapy Dogs. As much as we "know" and can "see" the impact of the work of our Therapy Dog with clients, it's important to understand the scientific research that not just supports but proves what we know.  Here are some of the findings.

Animal Assisted Therapy & What Science Says

For Mental Health:
  • The simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response.
    • Humans interacting with animals have found that petting the animal promoted the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods.
  • Lowers anxiety and helps people relax.
  • Provides comfort.
  • Reduces loneliness.
  • Increases mental stimulation.
    • Assist in recall of memories and help sequence temporal events in patients with head injuries or chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Can provide an escape or happy distraction.
  • Can act as catalysts in the therapy process.
    • May help break the ice.
    • May reduce the initial resistance that might accompany therapy.
For Physical Health:
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
  • Reduces the amount of medications some people need.
  • Breathing slows in those who are anxious.
  • Releases many hormones such as Phenylethylamine which has the same effect as chocolate.
  • Diminishes overall physical pain.
  • Relax more during exercise.
    • Participants were motivated, enjoyed the therapy sessions more, and felt the atmosphere of the session was less stressful during Animal-Assisted therapy.
  • For Children with Autism
    • Many children with autism feel a deep bond with animals and feel that they are able to relate better than humans.
    • Children with autism were engaged in significantly greater use of language as well as social interaction win their therapy sessions that incorporated animals compared to standard therapy sessions without them.

Thank you again for your continued support of our Animail Assisted Therapy program.  Togehter, we make a long lasting impact on surivovrs of sexual trauma.

silly girl
silly girl
Ready to work
Ready to work
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Making Friends
Making Friends

This week, Aspen and I had the amazing opportunity to attend The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit 2019 hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. 

The conference was held in Herndon, Virginia at the Hyatt Regency Dulles.  That is about 700 miles from where we live in Indiana!  On Monday, we packed up the van and headed West for an expereince of a lifetime. 

Aspen spends her days working with survivors of sexual abuse at Fair Haven Rape Crisis Center.  She loves her job and loves her clients.  This particular conference focused on human trafficiking  #endexploitation an area of services that is greatly needed within our community. 

I took Aspen with me as I attended workshops, meet ups and she made many friends.  She also worked while she was there.  You can only imagine a conference of this magnitude can be overwhelming for many and especially for those many survivors who were in attendance.  Aspen's calm deminor and soothing cuddles went a long way. 

We ask for your prayer and support as we consider our next step in services here at Fair Haven and with Aspen's client load.  We are very grateful for your continuted support of Aspen as she works to provide a soft and supportive service to survivors who are healing from sexual violence. We could not do this work without your support!

Saying Hello
Saying Hello
Dinner time
Dinner time
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Happy Spring Everyone!

Thank you for all your support of Fair Haven's Therapy Dog, Aspen!  Our big furry bundle of love turned four years old in February!  We celebrated with her favorite treat! 

Aspen has been working at Fair Haven since she was just 9 weeks old!  She has grown into her job well and is just made to do this work. 

Just a couple weeks ago, Aspen was working with our clients that attend our adolescent group.  She just loves these girls!  The get down on the ground with her and she will lay on two or three of them at a time!  They come early just for some extra "Aspen time." 

That night, as group was in full swing, I began packing things up to head home.  I start to head out the door, Aspen is no longer beside me.  I look back and she is standing very still next to one of the clients right outside the group room door. 

That night in group, they were working on their story.  It was too much for this client and she exused herself.  Aspen saw her before I saw her and she knew exactly what to do.  They client had one hand on Aspens head and one hand on the door knob.

Aspen looked at me for a permission and I gave her a signal and she engaged by leaning slowly and softly against the cleint.  I asked the client if she need Aspen and she said yes.  She turnd away from the door and leaned onto Aspen.

After a few seconds, Aspen slowly guided her down to the carpet where the cuddled.  No words needed. Everything that needed to be said was communicated through eye contact and gently nuddges. 

After about five minutes, the client felt so much better.  She thanked Aspen for helping her and headed back to group to finish this difficult step in her journey!  How brave she is.

These are the moments that make this work worth it!  There is not photo only a mended spirit touched by the miracle of animial assisted therapy.  It's amazing and we couldn't do this without you!  Our program is 100% community funded.  So, every dollar you give goes directly to helping Aspen be the very best support for victims of sexual abuse. 

Thank you again for your continued support. 

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Organization Information

Fair Haven, Inc

Location: Highland, Indiana - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Kelly Vates
Highland, Indiana United States
$2,940 raised of $3,500 goal
 
86 donations
$560 to go
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