Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc.

Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. Loving Paws will enhance the lives of vulnerable populations and those in need throughout our communi Anxiety melts away as we stroke a cat or play with a dog.
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Animals have served as companions to humans since the beginning of recorded time. The earliest indication of the significance of the human-animal relationship can be found in the 20,000 year old cave wall paintings of the Cro-Magnon people (Saunders, 1995). People have recognized and respected animals as ‘kin’ and through that kinship, they became totems, familiars, and healers long before they we

re domesticated. The reality that animals touch us in a very deep, central place is not a modern day phenomenon, but one that pervades the history of the human-animal relationship, and one that drives modern-day animal therapy programs. Mary Lou Randour (2000) states, “through our contact with animals, we can learn to overcome the limits imposed by difference; we can reach beyond the walls we have erected between the mundane and the sacred” (p. 5). Animal-assisted therapy is generally called “pet therapy.” It is the use of companion animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs to aid people with special needs, based on the theory that all people need to feel a sense of worth. According to the Mayo Clinic (2013), pet therapy is gaining in use and popularity because it helps people recover from or better cope with health problems, like heart disease, cancer and mental disorders. Therapy animals provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, courts, jails, prisons, and people with learning difficulties, or those who find themselves in stressful situations, such as a post-disaster area. Studies of the human-companion animal bond reveal many physiological and psychological benefits. Petting a dog has been proven to promote relaxation, characterized by decreased blood pressure and increases in peripheral skin temperature (Velde, Capriani & Fisher, 2005). Other benefits include stress reduction, improved morale, an increase in calmness, a decrease preoperative anxiety, improved patient outlook, reduction the need for preoperative medication, and the reduction of fear and anxiety in patients with a psychiatric condition. Velde, Cipriani and Fisher (2005) also state “Motivation is increased with animal interaction. For example, persons who had refused therapy came to the therapy sessions when they knew animals were going to be present. Interaction with animals changes the morale of long-term care residents. Occupational therapy participants continue doing therapeutic activities for a longer duration when animals are present, thereby potentially increasing the benefits of this therapy.”

According to the World Health Organization, 50% of mental illnesses that occur globally in a lifetime begin by the age of fourteen (WHO, 2005). Mental health disorders often diagnosed during childhood include: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, autistic disorder, anxiety, social phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder and mood disorders such as depression. Mental illness is all too common - the Kansas state statistics reflect that of Kansas’s approximately 2.8 million residents, close to 95,000 adults live with serious mental illness, and about 31,000 children live with serious mental health conditions. Douglas County is not immune, as the hospital discharge rate for mental health disorders in children age 15 and younger was 29.29% per 10,000 in 2012 (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2012). The consequences for untreated mental illness bear a burden that is both deadly and costly. In 2006, 379 Kansans died by su***de, which is often the result of untreated or undertreated mental illness. Nationally, a life is lost to su***de every 15.8 minutes, with su***de being the eleventh-leading cause of death overall and the third-leading cause of death among youth (aged 15 and younger) and young adults (aged 15-24). Kansas reported that during the 2006-07 school years, roughly 53 percent of students aged 14-18 who were living with serious mental health conditions dropped out of high school. Currently, mental health services in Kansas are inadequate to meet the needs of the people when the public mental health system only provides services to approximately 15 percent of adults who live with serious mental illness throughout the state. The break-down of services shows in our criminal justice system, too, where in 2006, 1,053 children were incarcerated in Kansas’s juvenile justice system, and Nationally, 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice systems suffer mental illness, while 20 percent are experiencing a severe mental health condition (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2012). Good mental health status is an important aspect of a child’s life in terms of both cognitive and social development and is a gateway to becoming a healthy adult. Research shows that children raised in an environment filled with love, trust, compassion and understanding are provided with the stepping stones to create a healthy, productive lifestyle (Friesen, 2010). Unfortunately, many children do not have that experience, and instead are subjected to constant negativity, resentment, hatred, distrust, abuse and dysfunction. These children often experience depression, anxiety, suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty dealing with their emotions and struggle educationally. Often, these children grow up to become involved in unhealthy lifestyle decisions. However, with early and alternative intervention, such as animal assisted therapy, children can learn to overcome the issues that affect them, leading to living happier, more promising lives (Friesen, 2010). Animal-Assisted Therapy is a relatively new approach being used to treat depression, anxiety, Autistic Disorder and more. Canine-assisted therapy is used to reduce stress and calm children with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Animal-Assisted Therapy dogs are also used to help children learn to read and as a conversation topic between therapists and children. Research has validated what every pet owner already knows: interactions with animals can reduce stress levels and increase a sense of well-being (Blascovich, 1991). Animals create enormous motivation in people of all ages and can be an integral component in the success of treatments and educational programs. Loving Paws will offer education, training, certification, guidance and support to the therapy teams while connecting with various organizations and settings (hospitals, nursing homes, detention centers, schools, the Courts and Hospice) who could benefit from the program and utilization of a therapy team. Loving Paws will offer animal-assisted therapy training, testing and certification for volunteers and their animals, as well as provide working therapy teams throughout the community through visits to community centers, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, nursing care facilities, palliative care facilities, the County Jail, juvenile detention centers, the Douglas County Court system, public and private schools and to the University of Kansas. Loving Paws will also participate in the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program, which is a national program where volunteer therapy teams go to schools, libraries and other settings and sere as ‘reading companions’ for children. Loving Paws will also provide education to the community about the human-animal bond and its strength and importance, as well as working to teach children about the responsibility of pet ownership and how to be safe around dogs. Loving Paws will collaborate with the local animal shelter and local rescue groups as well as various other social service organizations to network services and offerings.

Do you LOVE Loving Paws & the work we do? Give us a shout out by NOMINATING Loving Paws for Best of Lawrence!!!
04/22/2024

Do you LOVE Loving Paws & the work we do? Give us a shout out by NOMINATING Loving Paws for Best of Lawrence!!!

Copyright © Lawrence Journal-World: news, information, headlines and events in Lawrence, Kansas | https://www2.ljworld.com | 1035 N. Third Street, Lawrence, KS 66044 | 785-843-1000 | Terms of Service

Shakti, our Founding Queen is working hard to get back at it! Prayers and support are greatly appreciated!
04/04/2024

Shakti, our Founding Queen is working hard to get back at it! Prayers and support are greatly appreciated!

Shakti. Shakti the Queen. Shaktopattomus. Shakti, the Therapy Dog. Shakti the Heart-Healer. If … Raven Rajani needs your support for Shakti Needs Our Help

Are you interested in becoming a Loving Paws volunteer? Do you have a desire to give back to out community? Mark your ca...
04/04/2024

Are you interested in becoming a Loving Paws volunteer? Do you have a desire to give back to out community? Mark your calendars and REGISTER now for the Spring/Summer Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. Volunteer Orientation!

Space is limited to the first 25 who register! Click the link below to reserve your spot!

Come join us for a fun and informative orientation session with the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Association on July 11th!

We’re thrilled to partner with the Douglas County District Attorney's Office! Stella is happy to join the Behavioral Cou...
03/22/2024

We’re thrilled to partner with the Douglas County District Attorney's Office! Stella is happy to join the Behavioral Court team!!!!!!

😍 Introducing Behavioral Health Court's newest team member!

We are so happy to welcome Stella to the BHC team. She's a 7-year-old labradoodle who is incredibly huggable. A big thank you to Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. for bringing Stella to the team. 🐾

Loving Paws Pack Pups featured in the Lawrence Journal World!!!
03/20/2024

Loving Paws Pack Pups featured in the Lawrence Journal World!!!

03/19/2024
Peace.Love.TherapyDogs.☘️
03/18/2024

Peace.Love.TherapyDogs.☘️

03/12/2024

Shakti, the Founding dog of the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. is in need of support. She has spent her whole life giving to others and sharing her love and she is in need of love and support now.

We welcome prayers and healing energy and welcome any support you can provide using the GoFundMe link below. Please share the love as she has.....

Shakti, the Founding Dog and inspiration behind the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. is in need of help!  Please...
03/08/2024

Shakti, the Founding Dog and inspiration behind the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. is in need of help! Please send love, prayers and any support you're able to give her way!

Shakti. Shakti the Queen. Shaktopattomus. Shakti, the Therapy Dog. Shakti the Heart-Healer. If … Raven Rajani needs your support for Shakti Needs Our Help

🙏Please send prayers of strength & healing to Shakti, the founding dog of the Loving Paws Animal Therapy program.
03/01/2024

🙏Please send prayers of strength & healing to Shakti, the founding dog of the Loving Paws Animal Therapy program.

02/29/2024
We have the BEST JOB!!!!
02/29/2024

We have the BEST JOB!!!!

Another truly amazing dog crossed the rainbow 🌈 bridge recently. Riley was one of our first Loving Paws therapy dogs and...
02/28/2024

Another truly amazing dog crossed the rainbow 🌈 bridge recently.

Riley was one of our first Loving Paws therapy dogs and she touched many lives with her gentle spirit & her calm, attentive demeanor.

Riley moved away from Lawrence with her family, & then became involved as a Paws to Read Volunteer in her new community. Riley touched and encouraged so many lives- we extend gratitude for her service & sympathies to her family.

We LOVE KU!!!!!
02/15/2024

We LOVE KU!!!!!

Soooo much love was shared….
02/15/2024

Soooo much love was shared….

Loving Paws sends love, happiness & joy to all on this Feb.14th! May we all be reminded that everyday is a ‘day of LOVE’...
02/14/2024

Loving Paws sends love, happiness & joy to all on this Feb.14th!

May we all be reminded that everyday is a ‘day of LOVE’- a gift, an opportunity to embrace & a day to DoGoodThings. ❤️🐾

We are saddened by the recent passing of Chaaya, a certified therapy dog and valuable member of the Loving Paws Pack. Ch...
02/13/2024

We are saddened by the recent passing of Chaaya, a certified therapy dog and valuable member of the Loving Paws Pack. Chaaya & her sister Diya were an inseparable pair of heart healers. Chaaya is deeply missed by her family & all who knew her.

We extend thanks and gratitude to her human parents for sharing her love and light with our program and all those in need of the magic she offered.

Below is a beautiful tribute, written by her parents:

Chaaya was a kind, gentle soul and led a long fulfilling life filled with pure, infinite love.

Chaaya. You were a very unique dog. You hardly barked your whole life but you gave us so much joy with your quirky personality. Your ungainly running, your noisy clumsiness, your ill-timed panting, sighs, snorts, farts, grunts and all kinds of other weird noises, your weird liking to sneak away, your panache for stealing things, your love for a comfortable bed - no matter whose it was, your deep soul piercing looks, your affection for snow, long walks, all kinds of unhealthy carbs (vadais, vadams, dosas, bread and what not), your love-hate relationship with water and so many more things filled our lives with wondrous memories.

You were a fiercely independent and strong-willed person - never needing a leash, never caring for pets or hugs but you loved those around you profoundly. You and Diya were our rocks during our years of IVF and probably saved us from becoming complete wrecks and keeping our family whole. You pushed yourself these last 2 years to not only see us through pregnancy, but to see Eashan as well. He is one of the happiest babies we have ever known and we like to think he takes after his dear big sister. You changed not just ours but the lives of many others through the animal assisted therapy programs you were a part of, and converted many a doubter by showing how gentle, kind and soulful dogs are.

Holding your hand and looking at my own reflection in your large beautiful brown eyes while your soul left your mortal body is by far the most painful, heart wrenching thing I have had to do in my whole life.

But your legacy will live on. We promised the day we adopted you that we will always have shelter dogs in our home. We will go through this pain over and over again because it means that our lives will be blessed with such amazing beings as you.

We will try and live our lives like you taught us to - with steely resolve, with gentle kindness, a big smile and a little bit of mischief.

Farewell my baby girl. I miss you so dearly and will catch up again with you one beautiful day. 🌈 🐕‍🦺

Who needs some PUP LOVE?!? Our Loving Paws Pups are ready to bring happiness, love and joy your way! Order a PUPPY GRAM ...
02/02/2024

Who needs some PUP LOVE?!?

Our Loving Paws Pups are ready to bring happiness, love and joy your way! Order a PUPPY GRAM today!!!!

For a $25.00 donation, you can send a special therapy dog visit to a loved one! They will get to enjoy time with the pup, chocolate hugs and kisses, and a personalized Valentine PAWtographed by the therapy dog!

We are taking visit orders for Feb. 10, 11 & 14th! 🐾❤️🐾

To order, contact Raven @ [email protected]

Today was GRADUATION DAY & we got to welcome 11 new certified therapy dog teams into the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Prog...
01/29/2024

Today was GRADUATION DAY & we got to welcome 11 new certified therapy dog teams into the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program PACK!

Today represents a great deal of time, energy, training & hard work. Welcome & CONGRATULATIONS!!!

….and the CAKE! Thank you, Karen of Karen’s Konfections for creating a beautiful & delicious cake for the humans & special treats for the graduate pups!

Book a LOVING PAWS Puppy Gram for your special loved one today! Email: lovingpawsanimaltherapy@gmail.com
01/16/2024

Book a LOVING PAWS Puppy Gram for your special loved one today! Email: [email protected]

01/11/2024

Send a PUPPY GRAM to your special Valentine!!!!!

For more information & to book a PUPPY GRAM, email:
[email protected]
🐾❤️🐾

Wondering what to do for your special Valentine next month? Send some Halpy tail wags, wet nose kisses & PUPPY LOVE!!!!!...
01/11/2024

Wondering what to do for your special Valentine next month? Send some Halpy tail wags, wet nose kisses & PUPPY LOVE!!!!!

You can send a Loving Paws Certified Therapy Dog to visit your special someone! (Visits include a frosted valentine cookie and a personalized card!) For details and to schedule your visit email: [email protected]. 🐾❤️🐾

Two new Loving Paws pups supported young readers this weekend at our Tail Waggin’ Readers program at the Lawrence Public...
01/08/2024

Two new Loving Paws pups supported young readers this weekend at our Tail Waggin’ Readers program at the Lawrence Public Library. Thank you, Jax & Luna!!!

Loving Paws wishes all a very Merry Christmas! May your day be filled with laughter, happiness & JOY, wet nose kisses, h...
12/25/2023

Loving Paws wishes all a very Merry Christmas!

May your day be filled with laughter, happiness & JOY, wet nose kisses, happy tail wags & safe travels.

Our PACK grew, yet again, and we are thrilled to welcome CGC Certified, Loving Paws certified therapy teams Kristen & Ja...
12/20/2023

Our PACK grew, yet again, and we are thrilled to welcome CGC Certified, Loving Paws certified therapy teams Kristen & Jax, Adam & Lucy, Noel & Kekoa, Jeff & Remy and Kristin & Ocean!

We extend a special THANKS to our supports/helpers: Amy & Brenda! You both are amazing and we couldn’t do the testing and evaluations without you!

And, an extra special shout out to Greg Lyon of Mutts & Manners, who generously shares his knowledge, time & expertise with the PACK pups & our Loving Paws program!

No time on earth is long enough to share with the animals we love, or prepare our hearts to say goodbye. It is with sadn...
12/14/2023

No time on earth is long enough to share with the animals we love, or prepare our hearts to say goodbye.

It is with sadness, that I share yet another Pack Pup has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Vela was a rescue pup who had a traumatic past. Her new mom worked with hard with her, training her & giving her a job to do. She was Canine Good Citizen certified, obedience trained (and even competed in obedience trials )became a certified therapy dog in the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program in 2016.

Vela was a BIG love! She brought joy to many & almost always shared her ‘vela slime.’ She was a gentle, loyal soul with heart that matched her size!

She will be deeply missed by her people. Loving Paws is grateful to have had the privilege to know and love her. May her people find peace & healing.

The pack grew by 2 today! Congratulations & welcome to Lacy & Luna & Barb & Raya!And… a big sloppy dog kiss thanks to Br...
12/11/2023

The pack grew by 2 today! Congratulations & welcome to Lacy & Luna & Barb & Raya!

And… a big sloppy dog kiss thanks to Brenda & Amy for assisting with the evaluations!

This has been a rough week for The Pack, and my heart is heavy yet again. Yesterday morning, another amazing pup crossed...
12/10/2023

This has been a rough week for The Pack, and my heart is heavy yet again. Yesterday morning, another amazing pup crossed the Rainbow Bridge.🌈

Busta was a rescued pittie boy, who made his momma’s world light up. He was a certified therapy dog for several years in the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, making people smile wherever he went. Busta was a big boy, with an even bigger heart! He wanted (and tried!) to make friends with every dog he saw. Busta didn’t know a stranger.

Busta moved across the country with his momma, Sandra & kept her in good company. She shared that he passed on Dec.9 of an aggressive bone cancer. Even in pain, he never stopped being a sweet, gentle boy.

We thank Sandra & Busta for their years of Loving Paws service, & for bringing love & smiles to those who needed it the most.

Please extend peace & love to Sandra & Busta. ❤️🌈🐾

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Lawrence, KS
66046

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+17859797937

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Animals have served as companions to humans since the beginning of recorded time. The earliest indication of the significance of the human-animal relationship can be found in the 20,000 year old cave wall paintings of the Cro-Magnon people (Saunders, 1995). People have recognized and respected animals as ‘kin’ and through that kinship, they became totems, familiars, and healers long before they were domesticated. The reality that animals touch us in a very deep, central place is not a modern day phenomenon, but one that pervades the history of the human-animal relationship, and one that drives modern-day animal therapy programs. Mary Lou Randour (2000) states, “through our contact with animals, we can learn to overcome the limits imposed by difference; we can reach beyond the walls we have erected between the mundane and the sacred” (p. 5). Animal-assisted therapy is generally called “pet therapy.” It is the use of companion animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs to aid people with special needs, based on the theory that all people need to feel a sense of worth. According to the Mayo Clinic (2013), pet therapy is gaining in use and popularity because it helps people recover from or better cope with health problems, like heart disease, cancer and mental disorders. Therapy animals provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, courts, jails, prisons, and people with learning difficulties, or those who find themselves in stressful situations, such as a post-disaster area. Studies of the human-companion animal bond reveal many physiological and psychological benefits. Petting a dog has been proven to promote relaxation, characterized by decreased blood pressure and increases in peripheral skin temperature (Velde, Capriani & Fisher, 2005). Other benefits include stress reduction, improved morale, an increase in calmness, a decrease preoperative anxiety, improved patient outlook, reduction the need for preoperative medication, and the reduction of fear and anxiety in patients with a psychiatric condition. Velde, Cipriani and Fisher (2005) also state “Motivation is increased with animal interaction. For example, persons who had refused therapy came to the therapy sessions when they knew animals were going to be present. Interaction with animals changes the morale of long-term care residents. Occupational therapy participants continue doing therapeutic activities for a longer duration when animals are present, thereby potentially increasing the benefits of this therapy.” According to the World Health Organization, 50% of mental illnesses that occur globally in a lifetime begin by the age of fourteen (WHO, 2005). Mental health disorders often diagnosed during childhood include: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, autistic disorder, anxiety, social phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder and mood disorders such as depression. Mental illness is all too common - the Kansas state statistics reflect that of Kansas’s approximately 2.8 million residents, close to 95,000 adults live with serious mental illness, and about 31,000 children live with serious mental health conditions. Douglas County is not immune, as the hospital discharge rate for mental health disorders in children age 15 and younger was 29.29% per 10,000 in 2012 (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2012). The consequences for untreated mental illness bear a burden that is both deadly and costly. In 2006, 379 Kansans died by su***de, which is often the result of untreated or undertreated mental illness. Nationally, a life is lost to su***de every 15.8 minutes, with su***de being the eleventh-leading cause of death overall and the third-leading cause of death among youth (aged 15 and younger) and young adults (aged 15-24). Kansas reported that during the 2006-07 school years, roughly 53 percent of students aged 14-18 who were living with serious mental health conditions dropped out of high school. Currently, mental health services in Kansas are inadequate to meet the needs of the people when the public mental health system only provides services to approximately 15 percent of adults who live with serious mental illness throughout the state. The break-down of services shows in our criminal justice system, too, where in 2006, 1,053 children were incarcerated in Kansas’s juvenile justice system, and Nationally, 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice systems suffer mental illness, while 20 percent are experiencing a severe mental health condition (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2012). Good mental health status is an important aspect of a child’s life in terms of both cognitive and social development and is a gateway to becoming a healthy adult. Research shows that children raised in an environment filled with love, trust, compassion and understanding are provided with the stepping stones to create a healthy, productive lifestyle (Friesen, 2010). Unfortunately, many children do not have that experience, and instead are subjected to constant negativity, resentment, hatred, distrust, abuse and dysfunction. These children often experience depression, anxiety, suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty dealing with their emotions and struggle educationally. Often, these children grow up to become involved in unhealthy lifestyle decisions. However, with early and alternative intervention, such as animal assisted therapy, children can learn to overcome the issues that affect them, leading to living happier, more promising lives (Friesen, 2010). Animal-Assisted Therapy is a relatively new approach being used to treat depression, anxiety, Autistic Disorder and more. Canine-assisted therapy is used to reduce stress and calm children with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Animal-Assisted Therapy dogs are also used to help children learn to read and as a conversation topic between therapists and children. Research has validated what every pet owner already knows: interactions with animals can reduce stress levels and increase a sense of well-being (Blascovich, 1991). Anxiety melts away as we stroke a cat or play with a dog. Animals create enormous motivation in people of all ages and can be an integral component in the success of treatments and educational programs. Loving Paws will offer education, training, certification, guidance and support to the therapy teams while connecting with various organizations and settings (hospitals, nursing homes, detention centers, schools, the Courts and Hospice) who could benefit from the program and utilization of a therapy team. Loving Paws will offer animal-assisted therapy training, testing and certification for volunteers and their animals, as well as provide working therapy teams throughout the community through visits to community centers, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, nursing care facilities, palliative care facilities, the County Jail, juvenile detention centers, the Douglas County Court system, public and private schools and to the University of Kansas. Loving Paws will also participate in the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program, which is a national program where volunteer therapy teams go to schools, libraries and other settings and sere as ‘reading companions’ for children. Loving Paws will also provide education to the community about the human-animal bond and its strength and importance, as well as working to teach children about the responsibility of pet ownership and how to be safe around dogs. Loving Paws will collaborate with the local animal shelter and local rescue groups as well as various other social service organizations to network services and offerings.



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