Facility Dog

Virgil joined SafeSpot in November 2020. Virgil is an expertly trained dog who partners with a professional working in a forensic interview, family advocacy session, mental health session or court accompaniment. Virgil was trained for two years by Canine Companions for Independence and is certified through Assistance Dogs, International.

He provides comfort and stress reduction to children, families, staff, and multidisciplinary team members. One of the most valued qualities of Virgil is the unconditional love and attention he gives to the clients with whom he interacts. Virgil was born on April 10, 2018 and loves long walks, cuddling with children and playing with squeaky toys.

To learn about facility dogs and courthouse dogs please check out these links:

Pecos in the News

Pecos attends Child Abuse Awareness Month Proclamation

April 07, 2017

Michele Thames and Pecos both work for SafeSpot, the child advocacy organization. She’s the executive director. He is a specially trained “therapist” extraordinaire.

Pecos attends SafeSpot Passion for Fashion event

November 05, 2016

On Oct. 16, Bloomingdale’s hosted the fourth annual “Passion for Fashion” fall fashion show to benefit SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center, a child-friendly location focused on providing safety, support and comprehensive services for child victims of abuse in Fairfax County.

Where justice, recovery begins for young victims of abuse

November 10, 2015

“The center even has a four-pawed presence to help make the children more comfortable. Pecos, a yellow lab-retriever mix with large brown eyes, is the center’s facility dog. Provided by Canine Companions for Independence, he “offers comfort and stress reduction to children, families, staff and multidisciplinary team members,” said Thames. He accompanies children in forensic interviews, therapy sessions and in court proceedings.”

SafeSpot welcomes new Exec Dir and trained Facility Dog

October 08, 2015

Michele Thames, the new executive director of SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center, brought a furry assistant when she recently joined the organization in Fairfax County. Her professionally trained facility dog Pecos worked with her previously at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters child abuse program in Norfolk.