Congratulations to the Assistance Dog Teams that were certified in February and March!


Brenda and CALDER

Mama Dog: LULU, housed by Brigita Tuller
Papa Dog: Outside Stud Dog
Foster Puppy Raiser: Ben & Jessica Orange and Stephanie Hodgson 
Trained by: Barb


Reece and CHIEF

Mama Dog: CONNIE, housed by Shari Murdock
Papa Dog: BOLDER, housed by Adair Jackson
Foster Puppy Raiser: Cynthia Crutchfield 
Trained by: Kirsten

Barb and COBY

Mama Dog: SELENA, housed by Maggie Caball
Papa Dog: DIEGO, housed by Mike VanLent
Foster Puppy Raiser: Ellen Herlache-Pretzer and Cindy Hoffman
Trained by: Meghan


Rhonda and KUMA

Mama Dog: VITA, housed by Bob & Louise Kenny
Papa Dog: EARL, housed by Caryn Ashby and Shari Murdock
Foster Puppy Raiser: Lexie Bryce
Trained by: Meghan


Brianna and PADME

Mama Dog: ALPINE, housed by Brad and Janice Hilleary
Papa Dog: ODIN, housed by Eric and Betsy Kipling
Foster Puppy Raiser: Isabell Peabody
Trained by: Kirsten


Mary Free Bed and FAITH

FAITH is an Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) Dog who works at Mary Free Bed. She and a previous PAWS Dog, VANDY, “motivate and encourage patients to open up in ways they otherwise wouldn’t,” said Maria Besta, manager of Mary Free Bed’s recreational therapy department. “Their presence alone can lift the spirits of patients who need some encouragement to keep going. They help patients reach rehabilitation goals and provide a little extra hope.

Vandy and Faith are supervised by recreational therapists who receive specialty training in animal-assisted therapy. They are considered full-time employees and work with up to five patients a day of all ages and abilities. Vandy and Faith work specifically with recreational therapists but may co-treat with other therapists for physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy on a variety of tasks designed to help patients improve fine and gross motor skills, mobility and endurance as well as cognitive functions and emotional well-being.

They encourage patients to walk a little farther and sit up independently. Patients in speech therapy give verbal commands, while others improve strength by brushing the dogs or throwing a ball. Vandy even plays cards with patients working on hand dexterity!”

Mama Dog: NALA, housed by Deb Grow
Papa Dog: outside stud dog
Foster Puppy Raiser: Kevin and Deann Hurn
Trained by: Meghan