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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)
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 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 email@example.com as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)
Note! December 17th is our last evaluation date for 2016 for those wanting to evaluate or re-evaluate.
Could your dog be the next social media sensation? Submit your pup’s best photo to the Paws & Think 15th Anniversary photo contest!
One randomly chosen winner will have their dog’s photo displayed on the Paws & Think website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and in the next edition of the e-newsletter. In addition, the winner will receive a gift package with goodies for both human and canine – including a Paws & Think branded shirt, travel mug, bag, treats, toys, and Frisbee.
Entering is easy!
Visit the contest page online or at the bottom of this article and submit your dog’s photo through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can earn additional contest entries by completing one or more of the following tasks:
- Following Paws & Think on Twitter
- Tweeting with the hashtag #PawsAndThink15
- Visiting the Paws & Think Facebook page
- Visiting the Paws & Think Instagram page
- Subscribing to the Paws & Think YouTube channel
The last day to submit your dog’s photo is Sunday, November 27th, with the winner being announced on Monday, November 28th. So start snapping away! We look forward to seeing your pup’s best pose.
Ireland’s journey has been a rough one, as any shelter dog’s is. She came to the Pawsitive Corrections Youth-Canine Program at Marion County Juvenile Detention Center as a shy and uncertain seven-year-old who was confiscated from her previous owner due to abuse and neglect. At first she was nervous with the youth, afraid of the brush when they tried to groom her, but she soon started to warm up and respond to the positive reinforcement training. After excelling in the week-long program, she returned to Indianapolis Animal Care Services where she waited anxiously to be adopted by a new family.
After a few days though, Ireland was not faring well. Her stress levels rose the longer she waited in the chaotic kennels of the shelter, and eventually she was removed from the adoption floor because of her anxious temperament. Her life was now at risk, and Paws & Think had to pounce to action to help save her. Frantic emails went out, and another shelter, the Humane Society for Hamilton County, agreed to rescue her if a foster home could be found. More emails went out, and finally a volunteer stepped up to save Ireland’s life.
Dr. Linda Hoss, a retired dentist who has been volunteering with Paws & Think’s Youth-Canine program for over three years, rose to the call to rescue one of the program’s graduates. “I just couldn’t let one of ‘our’ dogs be euthanized,” she said, explaining that she took a risk in offering to foster Ireland, knowing nothing about her except that she had not been treated well in her past but was a favorite in the program for her sweet nature. Linda had no idea if Ireland would get along with the other rescued dog in her home, but she volunteered to take her in, trusting that she could help Ireland on her path to finding a permanent home. It has been less than three weeks since she moved to her foster home, and Linda reports that Ireland is looking happier and healthier already.
Linda said that she was initially drawn to Paws & Think by a presentation from a former Board member who shared his experience with his beloved dog. After recently retiring, she was looking for a cause to commit to, and she has found that she enjoys interacting with the dogs and the teens in the Pawsitive Corrections Youth-Canine program. Not only is she inspired by the way the dogs blossom with the love and attention they get during the program, but she also says she has met many wonderful people through her involvement with Paws & Think: “The spirit of cooperation and the dedication involved are a beautiful thing to see.”
When Linda is not saving lives, she enjoys cooking, reading, movies, and hanging out with her dog and her friends. She teaches at the IU School of Dentistry and occasionally returns to her former career of dental practice as a substitute. Her one child lives in Tennessee, and she currently lives in Indianapolis with Ireland and her other rescued dog, Venus.
Ireland is available for adoption from Humane Society Hamilton County. Please contact them at 317-773-4974 to set up a meet and greet.
There are some people that claim to not be a “dog person”. Those people haven’t met George.
“Even people who profess to not like dogs have been won over by George’s gentle charm,” says Maggie Ward, the owner of the Corgi/Border Collie mix. “I wanted to be able to share his happy attitude with other people,” she says of her decision to form a therapy team with George in March 2015.
George has charmed his way into the hearts of many since starting to “work” with Paws & Think. He is quite the adventurer so his career trajectory has been a little different than other dogs in the organization. “George gets bored with sitting in one place for too long so I know he couldn’t be a Paws to R.E.A.D.(r) dog,” recalls Maggie.
However, his adventuresome spirit has been a perfect fit for assisted living centers, where he gets to hop from room to room, making friends with each resident he meets. “He’s never met a stranger, everyone is his friend,” says Maggie. “He will be friends with any human or pet.”
One of George’s favorite “assignments” is going to colleges to visit stressed students during exam time. “He’s a ham for all the attention,” says Maggie. Upon arriving at the IUPUI library one night last winter, “George dragged me over to the circle of students so he could start climbing into and rolling around in everyone’s lap. He worked his way around the entire circle, taking turns in everyone’s laps, loving on them and getting pets.”
For anyone considering forming a therapy team with their dog, Maggie offers some advice. “Know your dog’s temperament. Not every venue is going to be a good fit. If you can tune into your dog’s likes and dislikes, that will go a long way with finding the right venue and atmosphere that makes your dog the happiest. Once you find the right fit, your dog will love heading out ‘to work’ at your favorite venues.”
UPDATE: This class is now full!
Our next class will be held in January 2017.
This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)
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 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 email@example.com as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)
“If it were not for Millie, I am not sure what would have happened that day,” recalls Beth Welch. She remembers the moment she realized her 9 month old Goldendoodle possessed an extraordinary gift.
“My mom had some changes in her medication that caused her some confusion,” says Beth. One morning after giving her the medications, Beth began working on laundry while her mother went to her bedroom. After a short time, Millie burst into the laundry room, barking loudly. She then grabbed the back of her sweatshirt and pulled her through the house into her mother’s room. “To my horror, Mom was starting to take her medications again. Fortunately, Millie had distracted Mom so she did not take them. That was the moment I knew Millie was a special dog.”
After that experience, Beth knew that Millie was destined to be a therapy dog. But where? “I had struggled with reading as a child and Millie loves children. I had heard about programs with dogs and reading and thought this would be a good fit for both of us,” says Beth of her decision to join Paws & Think with Millie as a therapy team.
With Millie, Beth is able to help children that have similar struggles with reading. “I needed a program like this as a young reader. Here, we are giving children the confidence to read out loud. Millie does not judge or laugh. She is happy to hear a child read.”
Millie can even sense when a child might need a little extra time to warm up to her. A few years ago, Millie began a reading partnership with an autistic girl named Olivia. At first “Olivia would sit on the opposite side from Millie. Instead of moving closer, Millie gave Olivia her space,” recalls Beth. But as the weeks went by, Olivia became more comfortable and the two began to move closer and closer to each other. “Soon, you did not know where Millie began and Olivia ended,” says Beth.
Although Beth and Millie have helped countless children discover the confidence to become life-long readers, Beth has found that she learns just as much from the kids themselves. “The children remind me to stop and take my time. As adults, we get so busy in our daily lives that we forget to stop and enjoy ourselves. We have a wonderful group of supportive staff members who train us and encourage us. It is a very special organization!”
UPDATE: August class is now full!
Our next class begins in September. (Click here for dates.)
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org as well as complete and submit an assessment tool. (Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.)
For Immediate Release
Indianapolis, Indiana – May 27, 2016: American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has donated $10,000 to support Paws & Think. This is the largest single corporate gift in recent history for Paws & Think.
“American Honda Motor Company’s generous gift is just one example of their leadership in the community and devotion to giving back to the conference’s host city,” said Paws & Think’s Executive Director Kelsey Burton. “Speaking on behalf of our Board of Directors, volunteers, and the over 9,000 lives we touch annually, we are profoundly grateful.”
This gift was given as part of the 2016 American Honda Supplier Conference. Each year, American Honda donates to one local non-profit serving the conference’s host city, with this year’s host city being Indianapolis. In addition to the donation, Paws & Think’s Executive Director spoke to over 700 suppliers at the Annual Business Meeting and therapy teams consisting of a therapy dog and his/her handler provided on-site stress relief during the conference.
“Thanks to American Honda’s generous gift, we will continue to impact lives through the power of the human-dog connection,” said Board President, Brett Nelson. “This donation allows us to continue to provide pet therapy and youth-canine programs throughout Central Indiana.”
Paws & Think is a volunteer-led non-profit dedicated to improving lives through the power of the human-dog connection. Paws & Think partners with schools, health care facilities, the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, humane societies/shelters and other organizations to improve the quality of life for at-risk youth, seniors, people with disabilities/special needs and others who can benefit from interacting with the dogs in its programs. The organization was incorporated as Paws and Think, Inc. in 2001.
To learn more about Paws & Think, please visit the organization’s website at www.pawsandthink.org.
(Note to media: To learn more about the organization’s mission contact Kelsey Burton at email@example.com or 608-469-0039)