Who We Are & What We Do
We are not supported nor funded by any LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL GRANTS! We are supported and funded by our local community and our LIKE-MINDED TRIBE, which is continuously growing! Our mission and vision are relatively straightforward. We are activists and advocates to implement holistic and alternative practices before prescribing pharmaceutical medication and to promote a "BALANCED" natural way of life. As a Clinical Mental Health Therapist-Counselor, I have had the pleasure and experience of enhancing my clinical and unique skill sets in Substance Abuse, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Special Needs, Play Therapy, and Family and Group Counseling.
In my humble opinion, I believe that the DSM-5 Manual is often misused and abused as a tool to over-prescribe pharmaceutical medication, and to diagnose an individual with an "available medical diagnosis". Here in the West Medical Institutions Practices are not often met and do not advocate to identify and humanely confront an individual's fortified core trauma, why you ask...? It's not an accredited measurement; medication can be measured, manipulated, and then calculated/measured to be a profiting cost factor.
We HELP individuals, families, and animals in many different spectrums. Cairo and Friends was conceived during depression, isolation, hardships, and turmoil. When you hear or see "RUFFWORK", KNOW THAT IT'S A LIFESTYLE. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS... Craft and carve your own path. Recognize you're a "BEING" before a "HUMAN". HAVE THE WILL AND COURAGE TO TO BE AN "ACTIVE PARTICIPANT OF LIFE".
When it comes to the community of individuals that have "IMPAIRMENTS", especially children we are here to offer and extend an authentic, genuine, and remarkable experience with Cairo, Cleo, and Luna. Cairo and Friend's first impression was to volunteer services to remarkable individuals with impairments, and shall continue...
Cairo and Friends was given the opportunity to become a reality, with three individuals believe in our mission and vision. Cairo and I was given the opportunity to work with three individuals that have impairments. As we are all aware the Covid-19 Pandemic, disconnected humanity on a mass level due to in person contact and a lack of community resources.
Our mission is to bring awareness to Humanitarian Principles, Well-Being, Mental Health, Service and Therapy Dogs in a unique, authentic and inspiring approach. The negative stigma that is associated with mental health is due to a lack of education, miseducation, resources and societies inhumane realization to One Love, One Race One Life.
Our vision is to motivate and inspire individuals to be " AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT OF LIFE". Our current society has been subjugated to cruel, unethical, and the basic fabrication of what it means to be "HUMAN".
We strive to EMPOWER, INSPIRE, and MOTIVATE individuals to acknowledge and recognize that are a "BEING" . We are 100% "Humane" and 0% "Artificial". We strive to inspire and motivate individuals to live a more natural and productive lifestyle.
-We must act as a "BEING" rather than a "HUMAN".
-Mr. Hayes aka Mr.Ruff
Values and Principles
Cultivation Instead of Raising
Open Doors For Others
Help Those Who Don't Look Like You
Our Ruffin Journey...
Hello, my name is Ryan Hayes aka Mr. Ruff, and I am the proud President and founder of “Cairo and Friends.” Ruff-Ruff, that was Cairo saying Hello! Cairo is my companion and service dog. He has been servicing me for nearly five years. If you don’t mind, I will take this time to tell you about our story. I was involved in a car accident in 2014, a horrible one at that. The outcome of this accident has left me having over a dozen injections, three shoulder surgeries, one knee surgery, and two lower back surgeries. Throughout this process, I was utterly devastated. At times I honestly feared the worst for myself.
I was depressed, uncertain, and not motivated. I'll be crystal clear, I was in a very dark place and contemplated my future. I never thought of actually bringing self-harm or suicidal tendinosis. I just pondered what would happen if I wasn't here on this earth... If you have ever dwelled in sorrow and depression then it might be safe to say you can relate. After going to countless doctor visits, psychologists, and pain management clinics, I wanted to try an alternative method. Something non-traditional, I then started to research alternative medicines and came across service animals. After countless hours of researching, I finally decided to act on this calling. I finally found my Cairo; he was eight weeks old when I found him. I even had the opportunity to pick him from his mother’s litter. Since the very first day he imprinted on me, and we’ve had an unbreakable bond. Cairo was first an emotional support animal, and after extensive training, he is now a certified service animal.
I know the pain and I know the feeling of isolation very well. Know that you are not alone, you may feel alone but that all can change, if you ask and are willing to recieve help. I found my help and recovery through nature and animals.
Humans tend to feel as if Love can only be transpired from another Human being. In my humble opinion, that is FALSE. Animals can give the true meaning of unconditional love. Cairo and Friends is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is located in Tampa Bay, FL. Our mission is to bring awareness to Humanitarian Practices, Well-Being, Mental Health, Service and Therapy Dogs. Cairo and Friends was officially established in 2019. We have an extraordinary diverse dynamic approach to bring awareness and combat the negative stigma that is associated with mental health and with non-traditional alternative medical practices.
Cairo and Friends is currently at the tail-end of researching and conducting surveying with “ADT” Alternative Decompression Therapy which implements a certified service dog or therapy dog with counseling and therapy. This unique approach takes away the traditional authoritative figure and textbook setting with a “counselor-asking direct questions to a patient”. With our implementation with “Cairo”, our studies are indicating a higher transparency engagement between both parties. Cairo becomes a vessel/medium for a patient to feel more comfortable, reassured, and emotionally supported while participating in C.B.T, Behavioral Services, Group and individual counseling and therapy.
We provide physical interaction with Cairo, such as social interactions, and physical in/outdoor opportunities to all of our clients. We also gift our clients with several physical photos during their interaction with Cairo. We live in a day of technology, where we rarely hold a physical picture of a sentimental moment. Cairo is our official mascot, but wait there's more! Cleo; is a Labradoodle and is 3 years old and Luna; is a Goldendoodle and is 3 years old as well. Cleo and Luna are Certified Therapy Dogs and completed training in December 2023, from Moffit Center. In the near future, our mission is to breed Cairo with Cleo and Luna and train their offsprings to become certified service dogs and therapy Dogs. We would ultimately like to re-home them to people with impairments, hospitals, and clinics for Alternative Decompression Therapy Services.
With achieving critical benchmarks and goals we will eventually have "Cairo’s Retreat" operating to have a Farm of trained Labradoodles and Doodle Doodles to promote Alternative Decompression Therapy. This will be a sanctuary for like-minded people, volunteers, individuals with impairments to come to decompress, seek therapy, and be uplifted in a positive community atmosphere. Conduct due diligence, dogs in general give positive health benefits to humans no matter their age, if not allergic. Being around a trained and obedient dog can have a more significant impact on your general well-being and can help with regulating positive emotions.
With your help, you can advocate for our mission and cause. What's most important to our organization is to spread the RUFFIN word to friends, family, and society. Send send this link! LET'S BREAK THE RUFFIN STIGMA TOGETHER!!!
Bachelors of Science
Springfield College, MA
I decided in 2016 to go back to college after my car accident and spiraling personal affairs to keep my sanity and not become a generalized static. During my studies to obtain my Bachelors Degree I was faced with another divesting set-back. My apartment, along with 8 other units were engulfed in a fire. Three individuals passed away and left an engraved memory, life is short and precious. May that family find peace and I share my condolences with them entirely. I was determined to continue my higher education and trust the process of my will and determination. If I can say one thing, sacrifice your youth, for higher education to prevail and ignite a trail blaze with your credentials.
Masters In Education
Springfield College, MA
My higher education and ability to learn is very deer and personal. I decided to enter the Clinical Mental Health Program at Springfield College, to educate myself with academia literature to venture into the field of Clinical Mental Health. I personally suffered with symptoms of having impairments and come from lineage of multigenerational trauma. As an individual that comes from the impaired community I wanted to become a voice, a pillar an and activist for this community and beyond. I completed over 700 hours of my practicum at 7 Summit Pathways and continued my internship surpassing over 1500 unpaid hours of C.B.T, S.F.T, Substance Abuse Treatment, Individual Sessions and Facilitating Group sessions without a Co-Facilitator for various sessions.
Springfield College, MA
Yes, it might be hard to believe, but I am still continuing my higher education to achieve obtaining my M.B.A. I am currently enrolled full-time. Cairo and Friends has been established since 2019 and has been meet with barriers and resistance with trying to network, allocate grants and properly fund Cairo and Friends. Instead of relying and depending on others for assistance and knowledge. I decided to stride down the only path I know, which is educating myself and carving my own path.
Meet The "Ruffin" Team
M.Ed Clinical Mental Health Therapist Counselor
Fun Fact: I speak to animals more than humans.
Title: Vice President
Advocate for Human and Animal Rights
Fun Fact: I have 7 birds, and have mermaid hair!
Certified Service Dog
7 Years Old
Fun Fact: I love Butt Fluffs
Luna (Chunky Monkey)
Certified Therapy Dog
3 years Old
Fun Fact: I eat, I sleep,
I demand Love!