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. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of animal-assisted therapy and, 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 custom training videos were designed to equip volunteers with the knowledge and skills needed to serve with empathy, understanding, and effectiveness.

 Welcome to Paws & Hearts University, where C.A.T. volunteers have access to resources that help enhance the pet therapy experience for everyone involved.

A very special thank you to Tripp Scott for sponsoring this initiative, and to the professionals below who generously shared their expertise and knowledge to make these 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.

Read more about our training modules below. Viewing access is restricted to active C.A.T. volunteers.

Best Practices - Helpful Tips When Volunteering with Your Therapy Dog

Demonstration with Jamie Diaz, Owner/Founder of Dynamite Dog Training and Lucky Dog Training

This demonstrative video showcases the essential best practices for handlers volunteering with their therapy dogs in various environments. Through practical examples, the video illustrates the correct approach to interacting with individuals in a wide range of scenarios to ensure positive and safe interactions. It also focuses on understanding and interpreting dog body language to ensure the well-being of both the therapy dog and those being assisted.

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Memory Care

Interview with Paul Markowitz, Executive Director of Aston Gardens at Parkland Commons

Working with individuals in memory care can be challenging and rewarding. This informative video provides an insightful overview of the needs and sensitivities of individuals living with memory-related conditions. It covers a range of topics, including understanding memory loss, communicating effectively with those in memory care, and creating positive, therapeutic interactions through pet therapy. By emphasizing respect, patience, and empathy, this training ensures that both volunteers and their therapy animals are well-prepared to offer support and comfort to those in memory care.

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Mental Health

Interview with Janus Moncur, PH.D, LCSW, CHAIS of Co-Creative Counseling

When working with those faced with mental health challenges it's important to be mindful. This video offers guidance on understanding the complexities of mental health conditions and how to engage with affected individuals in a supportive manner. Highlighted within are strategies for creating a safe and non-judgmental environment to build trust and security that can enhance the therapeutic process. This training emphasizes the importance of patience, active listening, and how the therapeutic presence of animals can work together to provide relief and hope to those struggling with mental health issues.

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Special Needs

Interview with Debra Silverman, Program Director at Schott Communities

There is a diverse spectrum of special needs that varies significantly from one person to another. Whether developmental, physical, or learning related, this video provides helpful information to ensure volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and compassion needed to engage effectively and sensitively. It highlights the importance of patience, creativity, and the ability to read non-verbal cues. By emphasizing empathy and the ability to adapt to different interactions, this video aims to enhance well-being, promote social interaction, and bring joy through the special bond between animals and humans.

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Special Thanks

Production of these videos was 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