PAWS for People is a therapy group based in the Mid-Atlantic. The group was first founded in 2005 and is now in its 15th year. The organization has grown rapidly, now hosting 176 sites throughout New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. PAWS for People has a total of 660 teams that work with a wide array of people. Programs offered include:
- Hospital therapy
- Dementia-related clients
- Hospice care
- Drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities
Lynne Robinson founded the organization with the goal of providing healing through individualized therapeutic visits. Robinson founded the organization with her beautiful golden retriever, Boo Radley. Below, we’ll outline what PAWS for People does and why their efforts are vital.
Tailoring The Experience To Each Individual
Robinson says that she trains her team members to read clues given by the individual they are visiting and provide them with a visit that meets their needs. She told the Delco Times, “You get what you need, the next person gets what he needs, the next person gets what she needs.” In some cases, this may mean that the patient only wants to pet the dog for a couple of seconds. In other cases, it could mean spending five hours in a pediatric hospital with children.
Although the name “PAWS for People” makes it seem as though the organization uses only dogs for treatment, this is not the case. The organization seeks assistance from all pet owners, no matter if you own a dog or a rabbit. Robinson said, “What they want to do is share the love and companionship of their pet with others who don’t have that.”
The Benefits Of Pet Therapy
Pet therapy is not a scam. There is legitimate science behind the use of animals as a form of therapy treatment. Fortunately, it appears as though doctors are catching on to this, as perhaps evident by the fact that emotional support animals are becoming more and more popular. The Mayo Clinic provides a brief overview of how beneficial pet therapy could be.
One of the most significant benefits of pet therapy is that there are few risks associated with the treatment. The only concern is using the pets in hospitals, where sanitation is of the utmost importance. Other than that, there are not many risks associated with pet therapy. Pet therapy could be a useful treatment that is much safer than medications or alternative forms of treatment.
Applying To Work With PAWS For People
If you own a pet and would like to use it to help others, you can consider filling out an application. The organization recommends that you have extra time on your hands that your pet is people-friendly and gentle. Once you complete the form, a member of the organization will give you a call to get to know you and your pet. If the phone call goes well, PAWS for People will invite you to an orientation training.
After the orientation training, you’ll need to complete a certification evaluation. During this evaluation process, the organization analyzes the relationship you have with your pet to ensure the pet is under control. You’ll then return for a second day of training. The application process may seem extensive, but it provides a fantastic opportunity to use your pet for therapeutic purposes when you otherwise would not have a chance to do so.
Even if you don’t live close to the Mid-Atlantic, you could contact the organization to learn more about opening a chapter near you. And, if it doesn’t work out with PAWS for People, that’s ok. There are likely local groups in your area that allow you and your pet to help others.