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Enya the Service Dog Takes A Break

“Enya takes a break after working at the Texas CASA conference.”

Enya and her handler, Michelle Cobern, Executive Director of CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties taught a class at the Texas CASA conference in Galveston on how other programs can obtain a service dog like Enya to work with children in foster care. Sarah McCracken, Program Director for Canine Companions for Independence in Irving, joined Michelle and Enya. Sarah and her service dog, Beau, were a massive hit with Enya and all attendees at the conference. If you would like to more about how to become a CASA volunteer and speak up for children in the foster care system you can visit becomeacasa.org or visit www.casatcm.org.

On Friday (Oct 20), Michelle Cobern, Executive Director of CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties and Enya, Courthouse Facility Dog for CASA of TCM, had the privilege of meeting Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew at the Texas CASA conference in Galveston, Texas. Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew is a Survivor Leader and nationally recognized policy consultant, specializing in developing strategies to end domestic child sex trafficking; reforming the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems; and implementing policies and practices to ensure that all vulnerable children have an opportunity to thrive.

“T” uses her story and experiences as a former foster youth and survivor of sex trafficking to highlight wellness and empowerment for the children in foster care.

Named by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2014. In 2013 “T” was named one of the “30 People Under 30 Changing the World”. “T” was also honored by Glamour magazine as a “Woman of the Year” in 2011. “T” testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the need to strengthen the child welfare response to domestic child sex trafficking. “T” currently serves on the board of the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls) and the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council, and she is a consultant for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Michelle shared with “T” the work that Enya is doing with children in the foster care system. “T” responded, ” I wish I had a dog to go to court with me when I was in foster care.” “T” is a huge inspiration for our program stated Cobern. Cobern said; “Enya, and I will forever treasure the experience of meeting such an amazing lady.”

McCoys Building Supply has been in business since 1927 and even though the customers change over time their appreciation for their customers has not changed! On October 24, McCoy’s Staff, Vendors, and customers packed the Mt Pleasant Civic Center to enjoy an evening of food, fun, raffles, music, and auctions. McCoy’s donated all funds raised from the raffle and auction to CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties. CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties is a non-profit volunteer-based organization that provides children in foster care with a specially trained volunteer known as a “CASA” to speak up for them in court and be the eyes and ears for the Judge. The McCoy’s “Thankful and Grateful for You” event was well attended, and everyone had a great time. Attendees visited booths to participate in a chance to win a $100 gift certificate. Enya, CASA of Titus, Camp, and Morris Counties Courthouse Facility Dog, was present to take photographs with the children. Enya gave away “baby Enya’s,” Labrador Retriever plush pups wearing a service vest like Enya’s. CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties is very “Thankful and Grateful for You,” McCoy’s Staff, Vendors, and Customers for participating and supporting CASA. McCoy’s support allows children in foster care to have a voice! If you are interested in learning more about how to become a CASA volunteer, you can visit www.casatcm.org or becomeacasa.org.

Michelle Cobern
Executive Director
CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties
903-767-3679 cell
903-717-8940 office