Dog Healer Helps Rape Victims Recover

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lily the golden retriever loves delivering the mail, but she does much more than that at the rape crisis center in Milford.

“Sexual assault involves some difficult things to talk about, there’s often shame associated with that,” said Peggy Pisano, director of victim services at the Rape crisis center of Milford.

The 7-year old Lily now holds a role that brings deep meaning for victims of rape and sexual assault in Connecticut.

“We’ve had the experience where some of our clients have started crying, and: Lilly just goes to them and sits next to them and stays with them,” said Pisano.

Lily’s owner Peggy Pisano and others with the Rape Crisis center in Milford, CT thought Lily could be a huge asset with helping victims

She was trained as a therapy dog.

‘It is unique, – at least in Connecticut, not sure about nationwide. But since some stories have come out we’ve had great interest around the country about having therapy dogs at rape crisis centers,” said Pisano.

A cute and unassuming welcome.

“It’s a very hard thing, to cross the threshold to a rape crisis center,” said Pisano.

It seem Lily, like many pets…innately knows when someone is struggling.

“They want to comfort, they sense that someone is going through difficulty,” said Pisano.

Lily doesn’t judge.

She simply sits and listens.

“She doesn’t make anyone feel bad about anything, if you’re angry she understands that too,” said Pisano.

Its been such a success, the hope is to bring Lily into forensic interviews for children of sexual abuse.

A difficult job.

Lily doesn’t see it that way, and maybe that’s why it works so well.

“I just know that she’s perfect for this kind of work,” said Pisano.

The rape crisis center of Milford relies largely on fundraisers to provide essential services to victims.

A fundraiser is set for Friday, November 4th.

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