WHO WE SERVE
Our Programs are 100% Free, there is no cost to have our Compassion Team visit you. We are funded 100% by Donations
Children Living at Christian Children's Homes
Our primary goal is to serve Children who live full time in Central Texas Christian Children's homes. These children have often been victims of abuse and neglect, our programs are specifically designed to provide animal assisted therapy through structured canine education and training. What is Animal Assisted Therapy?
Children In Foster Care or testifying in Court Proceedings
We make ourselves available to visit with children in Foster Care, through CASA and other programs, this includes but is not limited to: Therapy dogs present during a forensic interview, sitting on the stand with a child victim while testifying in court, providing services during supervised visitation or upon request.
Crisis Response in Local Schools
We are available to respond to schools during crisis, for example after the loss of a teacher or student.
We love to attend local churches and use our therapy dogs to talk about Jesus! So many of the training concepts that we use on a day to day basis really draw similarities to our relationship to God. We love to give children a fresh perspective on their relationship to their Father.
Natural Disasters and Public Crisis
We are equipped to deploy as many as 13 dogs to any location across the country using our custom manufactured 10 hole dog trailer and box. Equipped with food, water, lights and off road capable.
These trips require a great deal of funding, which is where you can help! Visit our Contact us page to find out how you can donate!
We love to make ourselves available for Community events! We are happy to show off our tricks, and skills and educate the public on Therapy Dogs!
How We Got Started
Allison Sutton is the Founder of Compassion Canine Ministries.
Allison has always had an amazing relationship with her Father and since she was a little girl felt called to serve the Lord, to make the world a better place. but she had no idea how the Spirit would use her life to effect others.
Unfortunately, Allison experienced abuse in her own home as a child. As an adult she found herself called to serve in the United States Air Force and then reached her ultimate goal of becoming a Police Officer working with Children. Her goal was simple; to make the world a better place, by helping one child at a time. She became a Mom in 2010 and her whole perspective changed. She left Law Enforcement for a career in Dog Training, which provided her with the ability to work from home and be a full time Mom and small business owner.
Allison excelled in training dogs over the next 11 years, and built a reputable breeding program in purpose bred Labrador Retrievers. She found herself gravitating towards producing Service and Therapy dogs because of her keen understanding of how a dog's unconditional love could be therapeutic and life changing. Specifically for children who grew up in abusive households. Children who never grew up with healthy relationships, examples of communication, and healthy and safe physical touch, struggle to relate to their peers, employers, spouses and even spiritual leaders, because they have no example for what this healthy behavior and relationship looks like.
In 2021 Allison decided to put her skills and experiences to work in her community, combining her dog training knowledge, with documented therapeutic healing methods to serve children in Crisis throughout Central Texas.
What is Animal Assisted Therapy you may ask, and how does it work?
Sassy, Bacon, Spirit, Allison, Ruby, Autumn and Ginger
Did you know...
By age 17,
of children in Foster care have been arrested or convicted of a crime
of former Foster Children become homeless within 4 years
of adolescents aging out of Foster Care will be Homeless within 6 months
Children in Foster Care are
More Likely to Suffer from Anxiety
More Likely to Suffer from Depression than children not in foster care
Children in Foster Care are
More likely to be Sexually Abused
What is Animal Assisted Therapy?
Animal Assisted Therapy is really a very simple concept with some pretty impressive science to back it up! A therapy dog is simply a dog has been trained to be particularly polite and who enjoys interaction with people.
Animal assisted therapy has several mental health benefits:
* The act of petting an animal releases an automatic relaxation response. Petting animals promotes the release of serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating mood.
*Therapy dogs decrease feelings of loneliness, and reduce anxiety.
*Increased mental stimulation caused by Therapy dogs has been shown to assist recall of memories and sequence temporal events in people with brain injuries or memory disease like Alzheimer's.
* Therapy dogs can act as an escape or happy distraction, or as a catalyst to break the ice in therapy sessions.
Physical Benefits of Therapy Dogs:
*Studies show that interaction with dogs lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
* Slowed breathing in Anxious people when petting a Therapy Dog.
*Hospital patients reported significantly less physical pain, one study found as much as 50% when visited regularly by a Therapy Dog.
*Studies show that patients assisted by animals during physical therapy experienced better relaxation during exercise; they felt more motivated, felt the session was less stressful, and enjoyed the session more.
*Many Autistic children bond more effectively with animals, than with people. Studies find that children with Autism were engaged in significantly greater use of language and social interaction when participating in animal assisted therapy.
Knowing these basic benefits of animal assisted therapy, we integrated cutting edge trauma healing research to produce a program designed to directly address the hole left in an abused or neglected child's heart.
Exploring Dog Sports
Exploring Dog Sports is a mentorship program designed specifically to promote emotional and physical healing, teaching life skills from a biblical perspective. The learned dog training skills build individual confidence in addition to a lifelong skill set.
Compassion Canine Ministries Exploring Dog Sports provides all of the equipment and therapy dogs necessary to assist the children at your Christian Children's home to experience the positive benefits of Canine Assisted Therapy and trauma healing.
Each child is assigned a dog and is taught basic principles of dog care, behavior, and basic obedience training. Students can even advance into training for retriever sports, dock diving, rally obedience, agility, and therapy dog training. These programs specifically address multiple paths to recovery from trauma:
Dog Training principles are taught from a biblical perspective, you would be surprised at how much being a great dog trainer relates to being obedient to our Father.
For example, when teaching a dog to walk next to us at heel, without pulling on the leash, we teach a simple basic principle to the dogs- you don't make any forward progress unless you're moving with the Master. When a dog lunges ahead of us on the leash, we take 3 steps backward. So, over time, the dog learns that he only makes forward progress when he moves with his handler- much like how forward progress is difficult for us when we are not walking with our Father.
We teach dogs that experience fear that they can trust in us, as their handlers to care for them in a world they don't understand. I cannot teach a dog how to look both ways before crossing the street and how to make an educated decision about when to cross between traffic. He is a dog, his brain simply isn't capable of making these complex decisions. But when the dog trusts that I understand the world around us and can protect him and make the appropriate decision, it decreases the dogs fear and anxiety when he knows he can trust in me.
We also live in a world that we do not understand, and when we try to make all of our decisions without guidance from the Father, we may end up in the middle of the street in front of a car. But, when we trust in him to guide us, we can cross through life's challenges without fear knowing that someone greater than us is looking both ways.
"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."
Many children who were raised in abusive or neglectful homes have never been given a positive role model for what safe physical touch looks and feels like. Similarly, they may not have experienced a nurturing relationship at home, where their needs were met and the discipline was consistent and fair. Where the leader of the household could manage their emotions and their temper. When an example is set that screaming and yelling are how a child is heard, these behaviors can become second nature.
When training and handling dogs, one of the most important principles is that the handler has to keep their emotions and energy under control. Because dogs are take 98% of the communication from us by observing our tone of voice and body language, not the words we say or the commands we use. If a handler gets frustrated, or loses their temper with a dog, the dog will become non-compliant. Learning to control their emotions, to work through frustration, to read energy and to become the energy that the dog needs the handler to be, becomes a life skill for young men and women who didn't have a role model to model such behavior. It provides an additional, outside motivation to learn this skill, particularly in children who are not yet connecting to staff.
This program teaches emotional control and empathy, empowering young people to "parent" an animal in a structured, loving and nurturing way, life skills that can translate into adult relationships and eventually into their role as parents. This program offers us the ability to teach healthy parenting strategy in a way where students don't necessarily know that we are teaching parenting technique, and is provided in a way that students have motivation and desire to master the material and become a better trainer and handler.
Our Therapy Dogs
Chocolate Labrador Female
If you extend your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, who's waters do not fail."
Fox Red Labrador Female
"The Nations shall see your righteousness and all the Kings your glory and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord. You shall no more be termed "Forsaken" and your land shall no more be termed desolate. But you shall be called,
"My Delight Is In Her."
Fox Red Labrador Male
"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
Chocolate Labrador Female
"I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance."
Yellow Labrador Female
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Fox Red Labrador Female
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
Yellow Labrador Female
"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your inequities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies."
Yellow Labrador Male
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."