Pet Ministry Therapy Dogs

COMFORT, JOY, CONNECTION AND LEARNING

Our Goal / How and Why it Works / Perfect Paws Pet Ministry
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Perfect Paws Pet Ministry  –- a nonprofit, volunteer outreach of All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore -- has a unique partnership with Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of MA to offer specially trained, certified, experienced handlers and their therapy dogs to work with education and youth-at-risk specialists and their students  by offering animal assisted therapy that can be tailored to each site’s specific needs.  


Together, we help children, teens and young adults with reading, learning and behavioral issues in the classroom or in a treatment environment. 


Relying on “the power of dog” -- the ability of dogs to disarm and engage people in virtually any setting --  our interactions utilize our attentive, gentle dogs in making  empathetic, compassionate connections -- increasing attentiveness, inspiring and enhancing learning,  building confidence and strengthening competency among those with whom we connect. 


With the assistance of our canine ambassadors of learning, we strive to support social-emotional learning, working under the direction of teachers, adjustment counselors, psychologists, and therapists. 


Our dogs have been evaluated by Dog B.O.N.E.S. for health, safety, appropriate skills and temperament and are certified and insured as therapy dog and reading partner teams. All visits by our volunteers are free of charge.


OUR GOAL

 We strive to encourage children, teens and young adults with whom we work to relax with the animals, have fun, and grow in confidence as they lean into learning in the company of our canines.  Our presence also seeks to strengthen an understanding and appreciation of respect, responsibility, fairness, team-spirit, civility, caring and citizenship. 


We work with special needs professionals to improve reading and communication skills and help make those whom we visit become comfortable and confident in their  efforts.  


Pet Ministry Therapy Dogs works to bolster social-emotional learning by:


  • Building respect for books, learning, students and teachers in an academic environment.
  • Inspiring interest in reading, learning, positive interactions and collaboration with peers.
  • Emphasizing kindness, civility, compassion and empathy through our dogs by demonstrating appropriate animal care and treatment. 

HOW AND WHY IT WORKS

Our canine therapy dogs, with their calm demeanor and open friendliness, have a transformative effect on those they visit. Being in the company of therapy dogs allows students to relax, engage, and be more open to learning.

Students lose their inhibitions and are willing to work to communicate with the canines. The canines “listen” without judgement or criticism, providing a safe and inviting environment as learners strive to show to their new canine friends that, yes they can, feeling more confident and comfortable in their abilities.

Our specially trained dog handlers are skilled at offering warm and genial support through their canines so students can focus on gaining fluency in reading, building vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension, and interacting appropriately with their peers and their canine visitors.

Typical settings for our services are:

  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Child Care settings
  • Other learning and teaching  environments

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