In 2007, Kevin Marlin noticed how dogs eased his 10-year-old autistic son out of his shell. He was amazed by the power of pet therapy and has since become the director of the Orange Count SPCA.
Kevin’s faith in the pet therapy led him to start a program that pairs therapy dogs with children involved in court trials. Many of these children are young and reluctant to discuss the abuse they’ve suffered, but having the dogs beside them alleviates the stress.
Fourteen dogs participate in the program, but there’s one dog who really sticks out: Patriot.
Kevin and his wife adopted Patriot from the Orange County SPCA in 2012. Patriot was just four months old and was already scarred for life after someone had wrapped wire around his muzzle. Part of his tongue was also missing.
Patriot was understandably wary of humans, but he came around after a year of love and care at the Marlin home.
“The kids relate to Patriot and vice versa,” Kevin explained.
“I remember one young girl who was just beginning the process of a trial, and she was visibly uncomfortable until Patriot came over and nudged her with his nose.”
“The girl grabbed hold of him and cried. They made a strong connection, and the girl was able to move on with her story. She didn’t want to leave Patriot that day when she was finished.”
What happened to Patriot as a puppy is no doubt tragic, but it’s so beautiful to see the way his scars comfort children in need today!
Share Patriot’s beautiful story.