Encourage Animal Therapy to Help Young Victims of Violence

therapy pup

Target: Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh

Goal: Support the use of animals to ease abused children involved in difficult legal situations

Children who have been abused, or who have witnessed extreme violence, often shut down while talking about their experience in necessary legal settings. Asking a child to recount trauma is not easy for the child or for individuals handling the case. Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, of Summit County, saw a need for a therapy animal in her Ohio court house. Bevan Walsh yearned to help children stricken with grief; Avery, the therapy-trained lab-retriever mix, was the answer to Walsh’s wishes.

Avery is officially trained as a service dog. His presence is calming for children who have experienced extreme trauma—Avery simply sits in the same room with the troubled child as he or she recounts difficult experiences. Walsh primarily takes on cases involving abused young children. The accomplished prosecutor saw a need for a therapy animal in her office, as well as the courtroom, to help ease tension and gain the trust of the young people she needed to help.

Walsh went through a lengthy process to see Avery join the legal team of the Summit County court offices. The prosecutor’s compassion has helped countless children not feel alone, and has highlighted the amazing influence that animals have on the human psyche. Applaud Walsh for helping humans and animals in such a profound way.


Dear Prosecutor Bevan Walsh,

Avery is an amazing asset to the Summit County court offices. The lab-retriever mix helps traumatized young children feel at ease, and helps you give children the assistance they need. Thank you for taking the necessary steps to help the children of your practice make leaps and bounds towards recovery.

You are not only helping abused children, you are helping other adults see the healing qualities and value of animal lives. Avery is beloved by every person who has had the pleasure of meeting him. His contribution to the lives of those around him is priceless. Animals deserve respect and recognition for their innate, yet seemingly effortless, therapeutic abilities. Thank you for giving Avery this recognition, and encouraging respect of animals everywhere.

It is my hope that all places of healing are given the gift of animal love and companionship. Please spread your Avery success stories to help the lives of more children and animals all over the country. Thank you for your unfaltering compassion.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Marvin Kuo via Flickr

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