Healing Paws (Therapy Dog Teams)
"Healing Paws, Helping People"
Who Are We?
As a part of Helping Idaho Dogs, Inc., the focus area of Therapy Dog Teams is also known as Healing Paws. Healing Paws' mission is to train and provide successful volunteer therapy dog teams to those throughout the community who can benefit from canine comfort and friendship
Healing Paws does this by mentoring and training volunteer handler and dog teams, while providing the teams with the resources they need to succeed.
Healing Paws is designed to take well-mannered, friendly canines and their humans through our process of educating, training, testing and preparing them to become registered volunteer therapy dog teams. One of the ways that Healing Paws supports our therapy dog teams is by establishing relationships within the community, in order to provide facilities and other locations for visits or events.
What are therapy dogs? Therapy dog or therapy pet is a commonly used term and can refer to one or more categories where a pet dog (or other pet) helps people in different ways. Read more about the types of therapy dogs.
What Do We Do?
Our therapy dog teams are involved in many exciting activities throughout the community, visiting people when they need it the most. We are constantly expanding our list of places to visit and events to attend!
One such activity is going to the library where children read to our dogs. This is a great confidence builder for the children and has the bonus of allowing the children to relax, hear the words and often learn new ones in the safety of some of the best listeners in the world - dogs.
Healing Paws therapy dog teams also lift the spirits of those with whom they interact: disabled children, students, staff, people at crisis centers, patients at health care centers such as hospice, assisted living, retirement, rehabilitation, hospitals, and many more. Many of these folks have had to leave beloved pets behind when their needs changed and are cheered by a furry coat and a wagging tail. Some people are suffering from depression or going through a crisis, and find relief while they are sharing their time with our therapy dogs.
The Healing Paws therapy dog teams also enjoy participating in special events, such as Camp Rainbow Gold outside of Ketchum and Ride for Joy's youth camp in Emmett. In 2013, our teams reached out to the children, teachers, and families at Crimson Point Elementary School in Kuna when one of the students died in a tragic accident. Our teams continue to be a part of community events, such as the M.A.D.D. Youth Safety Fair, Advancing Adventures in Communicating summer camp, Pet Expo, Nampa's Pooch Party Stroll and Splash, and Run, Fido, Run, to name a few. We visit students of all ages in schools to calm and comfort students going through testing.
Sometimes, a person will be able to let go of their fear of dogs when they experience time with our therapy dog teams. The families and friends of our clients, as well as caregivers, also benefit from visits with our therapy dogs.
At Helping Idaho Dogs, we cherish our relationships with everyone we come in contact with. In fact, our teams become an important part of each person's life, as each has become a part of ours.
Our busy teams love meeting new people and sharing the companionship of a well-trained dog with others. The opportunities are endless, and we enjoy every minute of it.
Select the links below for additional information:
- Power of Dog
- Healing Paws Benefits
- Become a Therapy Dog Team
- Types of Therapy Animals
- Research & News
- Meet the Teams
- Healing Paws Calendar
Sponsor a therapy dog team...
You can help these teams learn the skills they need to become exceptional therapy dog teams and provide comfort to people in need in our community. Your support enables us to offer low-cost training to therapy dog teams and to organize special therapeutic events.
If you have ever experienced the unconditional love and joy that having a dog in your life can provide, please consider donating towards our volunteer teams.We thank each of our donors for their generous support!