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CASA of Lexington service dog in the running for national award

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A central Kentucky dog is in the running for a national award and an appearance on the Hallmark Channel.

Five-year-old golden retriever mix Matilda has traveled all over Kentucky to visit children, helping them through tough times.

Matilda knows 40 commands and she can take a tissue out of a tissue box. But her greatest skill is bringing freedom from fear to children who’ve been sexually abused or neglected.

Matilda works for CASA of Lexington. It’s an organization that advocates for abused and neglected children in court.

Melynda Jamison, the organization’s executive director, says Kentucky ranks number one for child abuse in the nation. Plus, in Kentucky, children have to testify against their perpetrators.

“So, as you can imagine if it’s someone known to you that’s been sexually abusing you, it can be incredibly traumatic to see that person,” Jamison said. “Well, again Matilda comes in as a shining star there and can go to court with the children.”

“We had a little guy in fact that had to testify, and he said he would, as long Matilda would be there with him,” Liz Noffsinger, CASA canine handler.

Now, Matilda’s in the running for a 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Award and an appearance on the Hallmark Channel. But, for Matilda, helping kids through difficult times is what’s truly enjoyed.

You can vote for matilda through May 6.

CASA of Lexington is also always looking for volunteers. Click here for more on how you can help.

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