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Cully to support kids at Children’s Center of Medina County

CLEVELAND — There is a new staff member at the Children’s Center of Medina County. 

Her name is Cully and she is a 20-month-old black Labrador Retriever.  

“She just really provides a lot of ease,” said Executive Director Ashley Krause. “So, I can’t imagine if she’s providing this much to me how much ease and comfort and security she is going to provide to a child in a traumatic situation. So, she’s just very cuddly and loving. She loves kids.” 


What You Need To Know

  • Cully is the newest staff member at the Children’s Center of Medina County
  • She is a 20-month-old black lab 
  • Cully’s handler said she will provide support to children who are in crisis 
  • She anticipates Cully will start providing support in February or March

Cully will soon embark on a new journey at the center. 

“Children that come here are extremely traumatized as well as their parents and caregivers,” she said. “So, any support that we can provide them to make this experience … as comfortable as we can is our goal here.” 

She will work with not only staff, but Krause who is her primary handler and owner, to provide support to children. 

“I partnered with an agency called 1 Fur 1 Foundation and also the Canine Advocacy Program in Michigan, who provided me support through this process of getting Cully through Leader Dogs for the Blind,” she said. “So, Cully was with the puppy raiser and she was trained to become a leader dog for the blind. However, in order to do that you have to pass the test and Cully didn’t like to wear the harness, so she could not be a leader dog for the blind without wearing the harness. So, Cully was then what’s called ‘career changed’ and she became a child advocacy center therapy dog.” 

Krause said the center focuses on three tiers of support. They include abuse, neglect and exploitation.  

“Cully will be able to use some of that stress and anxiety. She’ll be able to provide comfort. She will be able to sense when somebody is extremely stressed or anxious,” she said. “If there are two people in the room and one is more stress than the other, she’ll be able to notice that and she’ll be able to provide comfort in that aspect. She’ll be able to calm any child down before they go into their forensic interview and then after their forensic interview is completed, she’ll be waiting for them so that they can see her.” 

While she is still new, Krause said she is prepared to help and has undergone rigorous training. 

“So, what happens is myself and the secondary handler will continue training her here at the Child Advocacy Center and the director of the Canine Advocacy Program in Michigan will come back and officially test her and pass her,” said Krause. “Then she’ll be able to start working with families, so we fully anticipate she will pass. She’s doing really well. 

Krause said she anticipates Cully will start providing support at the center in February or March.

She said she always had an interest in adding a therapy dog to the center since she began working there in July.

Her inspiration in doing this comes from her experience with the Geauga County Child Advocacy Program. 

For more information on the Children’s Center of Medina County, click here.

  

 

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