Voices for Children
Our mission is to provide support and advocacy
for the abused, neglected, and abandoned
children in our community.
Lightning Community Hero Award
We are so excited to announce that Ken and Dot Conklin have received the well-deserved Lightning Community Hero Award for all of their dedication and hard work to the Guardian ad Litem Program in Hillsborough County. We can’t thank them enough for making a huge impact in our community!
On Tuesday January 3rd, Ken and Dot accepted this great honor at Amalie Arena, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were able to celebrate with their family and take in a game. Thank you for making a difference and being a voice. True heroes indeed!
Tibet – “Did you Know?”
- Tibet is a graduate of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), the country’s foremost assistance dog organization with 5 national campuses. Tibet is a graduate of the Southeastern Regional campus – or the Anheuser Busch-Sea World Campus.
- Tibet’s trainer was an Orca whale trainer at Sea World prior to working for CCI. She now resides in Seattle, WA where she trains horses and dogs.
- All CCI puppies are bred and born in the state of California. The headquarters of CCI is in Santa Rosa, CA. The puppies are sent to the regional campuses at 8 weeks of age where they are picked up by puppy-raising families. The puppy raisers socialize the puppies with many types of people (developmentally disabled, physically disabled), and with other animals. Puppy raisers teach their pups 30 commands before they are turned into advanced training at 18 months.
- Most CCI dogs are 75% Labrador Retriever and 25% Golden Retriever. Occasionally CCI will graduate a pure-bred Golden Retriever. This DNA “recipe” makes for the most successful working dog.
- Tibet’s carefully controlled DNA is just as important as her extensive training in terms of how calm and controlled she can remain in emotionally charged environments.
- Tibet is worth an estimated $50,000.00 due to her controlled breeding and extensive training. Tibet was provided free of charge by Canine Companions for Independence.
- Tibet is insured for $1 million liability by Canine Companions for Independence. This strongly reflects how much CCI is confident that they are providing the safest animal possible to traumatized children.
- Tibet is on a strict diet – food is measured out twice a day and NO SNACKS!
- Tibet graduated at 57.8 pounds and cannot vary in her weight more than 5 pounds in either direction.
- Team Tibet must report in to CCI annually for testing and public access recertification.
- Tibet can turn light switches on and off, open a drawer (with a tug strap), close a drawer, and push a pressure plate for an automatic door opener for the disabled. Tibet can pick up items and deliver them to you.
- Tibet’s sister Tate works for the Napa CA District Attorney’ s office.
- Tibet’s sister Tulah works as a victim advocacy dog in Oklahoma.
- Only 40 percent of dogs entered into the rigorous CCI training program get to wear the blue graduate vest.
Children who have a GAL Volunteer…
Do Better in School
Are 50% Less Likely to Return to Foster Care
Have Fewer Placement Changes
Receive More Services
Are More Likely to be Adopted
Spend Less Time in Foster Care