AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning [cognitive functioning refers to thinking and intellectual skills]. AAT is provided in a variety of settings and may be group or individual in nature. This process is documented and evaluated." (From Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy)
AAA provides opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational, and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance quality of life. AAA are delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained professionals, paraprofessionals, and/or volunteers, in association with animals that meet specific criteria. (from Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy)
It is ideal to participate in a formal training program where, at the conclusion, you and your Greyhound would be a registered therapy team. Organizations who conduct this type of training include Therapy Dogs Inc., Pet Partners (former Delta Society), and Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA). These organizations also provide some type of liability insurance to it's members.
Once you have completed the training and are a registered therapy team with one of the above organizations, you are then ready to participate in AAA with your Greyhound.
In The Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facility or Hospital
Currently we have teams visiting Douglasville Nursing and Rehab in Douglasville (Patti and Lucy or Sami) and Terrace at Riverstone in Canton (Christine and Cody or Kelsey). If you are interested in participating at either of these locations, please contact that respective team. If you would prefer to visit a nursing home, assisted living facilty, or hospital in your community, please contact Patti for assistance.
Another AAA is reading with children in a school setting helping them to improve their reading skills. This activity is provided by a READing Paws Team which is comprised of a registered therapy animal and owner/handler. You'll find these teams in your local school, tucked in a corner, reading with a student. The animals love to listen and look at the pictures. They encourage the students to practice their reading skills and enjoy books.
READing Paws training is conducted several times per year in various locations within the metro Atlanta area as well as the Southeast. Please visit the READing Paws website to determine the best location for your training. A prerequisite to becoming a READing Paws registered team is also being a registered therapy team with of the three name organizations from above (TDInc, Pet Partners or ITA).
Lucy is one of our Greyhounds who has successfully completed both TDInc. training and registration and is registered with READing Paws as a READing Paws team. Visit her READing Paws profile page.
If you have questions on how to get involved with AAA with Second Chance Greyhounds, please contact Christine Basso. She can guide you every step of the way.
Just be patient with the process because it does take time to complete evaluations and testing to become a therapy team as well as the necessary training to become a READing Paws team. In the end, it will be time well spent where the results will continually reward you and your Greyhound not to mention the benefits to those you help along the way.