Canine companion joins CASA of Lexington

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Matilda, a Canine Companions for Independence facility dog, has joined the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) team Oct. 25, 2018. Photo by Amy Wallot

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington program that helps child abuse and neglect victims has a new team member.

Lexington’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) announced Thursday that Matilda, an assistance dog, has joined the team.

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The Labrador will assist her handler during her work with CASA children.

CASA uses trained community volunteers to represent child abuse and neglect victims within the family court system.

Matilda will attend court, home visits, family team meetings, hearings and any situations where she can help alleviate stress and provide comfort for CASA children and other parties involved, according to CASA.

CASA says Matilda was trained by Canine Companions for Independence, which help people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs.

This marks Kentucky’s first Canine Companions for Independence facility dog.

The cost for an assistance dog is $50,000 but CASA says Matilda is being provided at no cost, thanks to the support of donors and volunteers.