Posted on March 28th, 2017 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

img_5623If you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in April! The class dates are April 8, 15, 22 and 29. (Evaluations will be May 6.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Nina Esbin at nesbin@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on December 28th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

img_5623If you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in February! The class dates are February 11th, 18th, 25th, and March 4th. (Evaluations will be March 11th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on November 7th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

dianeIf you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in January! The class dates are January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th. (Evaluations will be February 4th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.

Note! December 17th is our last evaluation date for 2016 for those wanting to evaluate or re-evaluate.


Posted on September 14th, 2016 in Volunteer News | 2 Comments »

UPDATE: This class is now full!
Our next class will be held in January 2017.


dianeThis is the last class of 2016!

If you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in October! The class dates are October 29th, November 5th, 12th and 19th. (Evaluations will be December 3rd.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on July 12th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

pawstoread003If you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in September! The class dates are September 17th, 24th and October 1st and 8th. (Evaluations will be October 15th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on June 23rd, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

UPDATE: August class is now full!
Our next class begins in September. (Click here for dates.)

pawstoread003If you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in August! The class dates are August 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th. (Evaluations will be September 3rd or 10th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on May 24th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

dickensIf you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in June! The class dates are June 25th, July 9th, 16th and 23rd. (Evaluations will be July 30th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on April 5th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

kathyandmaterIf you are interested in volunteering your time (along with your pet) for one of the Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy programs, our next available class begins in May! The class dates are May 14th, May 21st, June 4th and June 11th. (Evaluations will be June 18th.) Please remember that prior to class, you will need to contact Carol Davenport at cdavenport@nullpawsandthink.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)

Click here for more information.


Posted on March 28th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

Greta_Marchino_petwatchEight years ago, Gina Marchino adopted an eight-week old mutt puppy from a shelter. The young pup, who soon became known as Greta, was listed by the shelter as a Boxer/Boston Terrier mix, but Gina’s friends were constantly asking her if Greta was a pit bull. Not knowing much about the breed, Gina decided to read up on pit bulls to find out if that was in fact what Greta was. She quickly learned of the tormented history of pit bulls and the many ways in which they are horribly treated as a result of their bad reputation as a breed.

Because of Greta, Gina felt inspired to educate the public on the truth about pit bulls. She wanted people to know that the bad reputation the breed has gained is unjust and simply inaccurate, and she has worked to help clear their name in several venues, including serving on the Board of a pit rescue organization and even opening up her home to foster pit bulls looking for their forever families.

Gina’s special bond with Greta also led her to get involved with Paws & Think, where she was excited at the opportunity for both of them to be able to volunteer. “Greta has a lot of love to share and she’s changed who I am. It didn’t seem fair to keep that all to myself.” Greta, who is a very social animal and loves the attention she receives as part of a Paws & Think therapy team, enjoys volunteering as much as Gina, who says it is rewarding to do something good for humanity with her best friend.

Together, Gina and Greta visit an adult day care for the developmentally disabled where they are able to bring joy to many just by simply stopping in to say hello. Gina recalls the impact she saw on their first visit, when many of the residents seemed to light up like the sun when she and Greta walked in: “It’s amazing that just having a dog around changes people’s moods immediately and makes them forget their troubles for a while.”


Posted on March 28th, 2016 in Volunteer News | No Comments »

feathers-largeEverybody has that one special piece of clothing that makes them feel like a million bucks. For Feathers, that would be her Paws & Think bandana. “As soon as I put in on, she sits up straighter and looks like she is ready for work,” says Jean Palmer Heck, Feathers’s owner.

Feathers and Jean are a therapy team for Paws & Think. Together, they visit schools, libraries, and summer camps across the Indianapolis area to work with children and help them improve their reading skills. Throughout their 2 years volunteering with Paws & Think, Jean has witnessed how the kids have progressed and become more confident by reading to Feathers. But she has also seen a difference in Feathers.

“She is usually very shy,” notes Jean. “She was rescued from a house with 10 dogs, and I suspect she was abused by an adult,” she explains. But when Feathers enters a room full of children, everything changes. “She warms up to little kids,” Jean says, recalling how much Feathers has “blossomed” during her time as a Paws & Think dog.

Jean has used Feathers’s story to help inspire kids who are shy as well. “When we did a Families First evening with pre-schoolers in Lebanon, we met a little girl that was very uncomfortable in the library. From my interaction with her, I don’t think she even knew how to choose a book from the shelves,” recalling how she had to guide the girl every step of the way.

“I kept saying that my doggie felt shy about reading books, at first too, but she really got to like it.” After that, Jean recalls, “I could see the little girl’s confidence grow. It still brings tears to my eyes to think that a child had no exposure to a library. And it puts a smile on my face thinking my dog was a part of it”.

But while Feathers has come out of her shell through her work, it hasn’t been all work and no play. Besides the joy of working with children, what else does Feathers enjoy about being a Paws & Think dog? “Her treats, especially the drive through at McDonald’s after our sessions!”


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