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.