Reason #1: Hand in Paw Therapy Teams help children on the autism spectrum with their therapy.
Reason #2: Therapy dogs can encourage participants to work harder at their therapy, stay in treatment longer, and decrease perceived pain, improving patient outcomes in every hospital we visit.
Reason #3: Therapy dogs have been repeatedly shown to be an effective tool to assist with engagement and rapport building with children. They help youth express feelings, develop relationships, and resolve psychological problems.
Reason #4: We are extremely proud to support our veterans through the Love, Tito's grant. HIP Therapy Teams work with veterans being treated for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, and other mental illnesses. There are infinite parallels between successful dog handling and coping with life's peaks and valleys.
Reason #5: Therapy dogs can be a valuable addition to physical or occupational therapy. Petting, grooming, walking, and playing can help improve range of motion, balance, and ambulation. People suffering from physical trauma receive help from our volunteer therapy dog teams during our programs at facilities like Spain Rehabilitation Center.
Reason #6: Therapy dogs relieve stress and anxiety. Simply petting a dog helps reduce stress and gives emotional support.
Reason #7: Hand in Paw's Library creates reading opportunities and incentives to improve literacy skills through our Sit, Stay, Read! Program.
Reason #8: Hand in Paw Therapy Teams visit students at UAB, University of Alabama, Samford University and other local schools during stressful exam weeks and times of crisis after traumatic events.
Reason #9: Hand in Paw provides amazing opportunities to spend time with your dog volunteering to help your fellow Alabamians not only feel better, but get better.
Reason #10: Our trademarked youth curriculum, Pawsitive Living, helps participants improve communication skills, anger management, self-esteem, and self-awareness.