Paws and Reflect Program is â€œPutting On the Dogâ€
As part of the Planetree components at <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />AllianceCommunityHospital, pet therapy is proving to be one of the most popular. The Paws and Reflect volunteer program hosts approximately 12 dogs and their handlers, all members of the Therapy Dogs International, Inc.
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On Sunday, September 27, a special program is planned to not only spotlight the hospital's pet therapy program, but to also help educate youth on pet safety and care.
The â€œPutting on the Dogâ€ program is open to all youth in the area, but parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to accompany their child (ren). This no-charge program will be held at the RobertsonCenter onEast State Street in Alliance beginning at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Reservations are requested in order to plan for all attendees, and they can be made by calling the ACH Volunteer Department at ACH, 330-596-7822 or 330-596-7821 before Thursday, September 24. A maximum of 50 participants will be accepted for the program.
â€œWe have a wonderful pet therapy program at ACH, and we want to share with others the difference this program makes for our patients, visitors and staff. All of our visiting dogs have passed the TDI requirements, and then are mentored by our TDI certified mentors a minimum of four times before they can make visits on their own,â€ explains Marcy Todd, volunteer coordinator at ACH.
â€œIf we can save even one child from being injured by a dog, our mission is accomplished,â€ shared Lynn Seifert, a member of the Paws and Reflect program. â€œWe love dogs, but we have learned there is a right and wrong way to approach a dog. Our program helps teach children, and adults, the proper techniques to use.â€
A full two hours of education and fun have been planned for the day. Items on the agenda include: pet safety, what makes a good therapy dog, special readings and why is pet therapy so important to the hospital.
Participants will also rotate through a variety of activity centers including: Dog Grooming, Health, Nutrition and Exercise for Dogs, What is a Rescue Animal? and Reading to the Dogs. Participants will also make a special take-home craft during the rotations.
Each child will receive a bag of practical and fun items to commemorate their participation in the program. They will also have time to interact with the many dogs who participate in the Paws and Reflect program. A special event will be the â€œDog on a Hogâ€ presentation by Bear, the Chihuahua, and owner Ruth DeFranco.
Further information can be obtained by contacting the Volunteer Department at the hospital.