Paws & Hearts University

Paws And Hearts University 2

Paws & Hearts University

Enhanced training for special populations.

Elevating lives. Fostering healing. Unleashing transformation. These ideals drive us at at Canine Assisted Therapy, and we are dedicated to providing the highest level of animal-assisted therapeutic services. Beyond comfort and companionship, we believe that focused training is the key to unlocking the greatest emotional and physical healing for fragile populations. The Paws & Hearts University training videos were designed to equip volunteers with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver compassionate, effective therapy.

Welcome to Paws & Hearts University, where C.A.T. volunteers have access to resources that help enhance the pet therapy experience for everyone involved.           Our comprehensive training videos are tailored to equip volunteers with the knowledge needed to serve with empathy, understanding, and effectiveness.

Explore our training modules:

  • Best Practices: Demonstration with Jamie Diaz, Owner/Founder of Dynamite Dog Training and Lucky Dog Training - Ground yourself in the foundational principles of therapy dog handling across any setting. This module covers everything from handler etiquette and approaching individuals in different scenarios to dog body language and setting boundaries.
  • Memory Care: Interview with Paul Markowitz, Executive Director of Aston Gardens at Parkland Commons - Learn how to navigate the unique challenges and rewards of working with individuals experiencing memory loss. This module offers insights into creating moments of joy and connection for people living with conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • Mental Health: Interview with Janus Moncur, PH.D, LCSW, CHAIS of Co-Creative Counseling - Discover how to offer support and comfort to those facing mental health challenges. This session discusses how to foster emotional healing while ensuring visits offer a safe space for expression and connection.
  • Special Needs: Interview with Debra Silverman, Program Director at Schott Communities - This section provides insight and strategies for engaging with individuals with special needs. From communication adaptations to incorporating your pet, learn how to make your therapy sessions accessible and impactful for everyone.

A very special thank you to the above professionals who generously shared their expertise and knowledge to make these training videos possible. Their invaluable contributions ensure that our pet therapy teams are equipped to offer meaningful support, bringing comfort and smiles to those in need.

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Memory Care - Paul Markowitz, Exec. Director at Aston Gardens at Parkland Commons
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Mental Health - Janus Moncur, PH.D, LCSW, Co-Creative Counseling
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Special Needs - Debra Silverman, Program Director at Schott Communities
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Best Practices - Jamie Diaz, Owner/Founder of Dynamite Dog Training and Lucky Dog
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Production of these videos were made possible through the generous support of Tripp Scott, in honor of Ellen Springs and her therapy dog Maggie. Together, Ellen and Maggie brought comfort, healing and encouragement to those in need for over 10 years.

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Ellen with Maggie