How the Program Works
Volunteers with certified therapy rescue dogs sign up to join the Bella’s Therapy Rescue Dog program. PAWS Chicago serves as a matchmaker, pairing interested volunteers and their dogs with sites that would benefit from a therapy dog visit.
The program is open to any certified therapy dog that was rescued from a shelter. Human handlers are responsible for showing proof of therapy dog certification to PAWS Chicago, along with any other documentation or records required by the facility to be visited.
PAWS manages all pre- and post-visit logistics, ensuring a seamless experience for the volunteers, dogs and host sites.
Profile of a Therapy Dog Visit
Dogs and their handlers visit locations alongside a PAWS Ambassador trained to speak and answer questions about PAWS Chicago. While visit formats will vary based on the facility, each visit will include a brief presentation on PAWS Chicago.
Following the presentation, the therapy dog and handler interact with the location’s residents, patients or clients. Visits may be one on one or can take place in a larger group setting.
Interaction with a therapy dog can take many forms. Some people may enjoy the comfort and relaxation that petting, reading to or socializing a therapy dog provides. Others may use a therapy dog visit as a component of physical therapy – helping to maintain or increase motor skills and increase joint movement.
For more information or to sign up for the program – either as a facility requesting visitation services or volunteer rescue dogs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in Certifying Your Rescue Dog?
There are many organizations who register, test and certify therapy dogs. To find one near your, visit Therapy Dogs International for details.