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.

Rylee and Wayne bringing smiles to the Do Something Big Event at KU ❤️💙
10/03/2023

Rylee and Wayne bringing smiles to the Do Something Big Event at KU ❤️💙

Thank you Sigma Nu for hosting Dogs and Donuts! Rylee, Wayne, Apollo and Winnie had a great time meeting everyone ❤️🐾
09/28/2023

Thank you Sigma Nu for hosting Dogs and Donuts! Rylee, Wayne, Apollo and Winnie had a great time meeting everyone ❤️🐾

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08/29/2023

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Extending CONGRATULATIONS & a big WELCOME to our three newest certified therapy dog teams: Wayne, Tanka & KC!!
08/20/2023

Extending CONGRATULATIONS & a big WELCOME to our three newest certified therapy dog teams: Wayne, Tanka & KC!!

Are you interested in joining the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program? Do you think your pup has what it takes to become ...
08/15/2023

Are you interested in joining the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program? Do you think your pup has what it takes to become a certified therapy dog? We'd love the opportunity to meet you & share about our program! 🐾❤️

Fall Orientation is coming up! Secure your spot in the class today, as space is limited to the first 25!

Loving Paws Fall Orientation

Run Happy & Free, Otto, and steal alllllll the food!!!!Thank you for being such an amazing pup for your family and for a...
08/01/2023

Run Happy & Free, Otto, and steal alllllll the food!!!!

Thank you for being such an amazing pup for your family and for all those in our community who needed your love and attention! The Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. is grateful for you and that you generously shared your tender heart and kind spirit with those who were most vulnerable. You're loved and missed.

We have some new (amazing) pups joining the PACK! Please extend a welcome to Sally & Hatch, Dee & Wayne, Tracy & KC, & K...
06/30/2023

We have some new (amazing) pups joining the PACK!

Please extend a welcome to Sally & Hatch, Dee & Wayne, Tracy & KC, & Kelsey & Apollo! ❤️🐾❤️

A special thanks goes out to Greg Lyon, Tania Hickman, Jason Azevedo, Raven Rajani & Shakti for all the time, love & energy you put into Loving Paws!

6 dogs passed their Canine Good Citizen testing today!!!! (Yay!!!) Final Evaluations for Loving Paws are in two weeks!!!...
06/11/2023

6 dogs passed their Canine Good Citizen testing today!!!! (Yay!!!) Final Evaluations for Loving Paws are in two weeks!!!!!

Vote for Shakti and all the wonderful teams of Loving Paws Animal Therapy! ❤️🐾
06/05/2023

Vote for Shakti and all the wonderful teams of Loving Paws Animal Therapy! ❤️🐾

Daily through June 10

Final class for the spring session ❤️🐾
05/07/2023

Final class for the spring session ❤️🐾

Rylee visited Jayhawker Towers on campus and saw familiar faces! ❤️🐾
04/25/2023

Rylee visited Jayhawker Towers on campus and saw familiar faces! ❤️🐾

Rylee and Peanut loved reading with the littles at Tail Wagging Readers on Sunday ❤️🐾
04/25/2023

Rylee and Peanut loved reading with the littles at Tail Wagging Readers on Sunday ❤️🐾

Training session  #4 in the books! Everyone is doing so well! ❤️🐾
04/16/2023

Training session #4 in the books! Everyone is doing so well! ❤️🐾

Mille, Molly and Rylee enjoyed visiting the littles at Tail Wagging Readers today ❤️🐾
04/09/2023

Mille, Molly and Rylee enjoyed visiting the littles at Tail Wagging Readers today ❤️🐾

Layla and Rooster had a great time at the KU  JayPaws Mental Health meeting! ❤️🐾
04/05/2023

Layla and Rooster had a great time at the KU JayPaws Mental Health meeting! ❤️🐾

Indy was the star of the show tonight! Students took a “paws” from studying to visit Indy, share stories and smiles ❤️🐾
04/05/2023

Indy was the star of the show tonight!
Students took a “paws” from studying to visit Indy, share stories and smiles ❤️🐾

These pups are are really starting to find their groove! Session 3 complete! Almost half way! ❤️🐾
04/05/2023

These pups are are really starting to find their groove! Session 3 complete! Almost half way! ❤️🐾

Scooby and friends had a great time at Tail Wagging Readers yesterday visiting the littles!❤️🐾
03/28/2023

Scooby and friends had a great time at Tail Wagging Readers yesterday visiting the littles!❤️🐾

What a fantastic group!  Sunday we held Session 2 of our 6 week training for our new Loving Paws therapy dogs! ❤️🐾
03/22/2023

What a fantastic group! Sunday we held Session 2 of our 6 week training for our new Loving Paws therapy dogs! ❤️🐾

Loving Paws hosted the first training session for potentional new members for the spring class today! Everyone was a roc...
03/12/2023

Loving Paws hosted the first training session for potentional new members for the spring class today! Everyone was a rockstar ❤️🐾

Raiyna and Dixie are out here at the KU Edwards Campus visiting students until 7pm ❤️🐾
03/10/2023

Raiyna and Dixie are out here at the KU Edwards Campus visiting students until 7pm ❤️🐾

Rylee brought smiles and high fives to the students at Anschutz Library Tuesday night!❤️🐾
03/09/2023

Rylee brought smiles and high fives to the students at Anschutz Library Tuesday night!
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Winnie was a super ⭐️ at Anschutz Library Wednesday night ❤️🐾
03/03/2023

Winnie was a super ⭐️ at Anschutz Library Wednesday night ❤️🐾

Peanut, Molly, Winnie, and Scoobie enjoyed meeting all the wonderful readers at Tail Wagging Readers today! ❤️🐾
02/27/2023

Peanut, Molly, Winnie, and Scoobie enjoyed meeting all the wonderful readers at Tail Wagging Readers today! ❤️🐾

“I didn’t know it, but this was exactly what I needed tonight”Best quote of the night and the very reason we do what we ...
02/22/2023

“I didn’t know it, but this was exactly what I needed tonight”

Best quote of the night and the very reason we do what we do!

Raiyna and Dixie had a wonderful time at Anschutz Library making new friends. Thank you JayPaws for having us tonight❤️🐾

Do you have an amazing dog? Do you think your dog "has what it takes" to become a therapy dog? We are excited to announc...
01/17/2023

Do you have an amazing dog? Do you think your dog "has what it takes" to become a therapy dog? We are excited to announce our 2023 Spring Orientation! Join us on March 1st to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to join our pack ♥️🐾

https://LovingPawsSpring2023Orientation.eventbrite.com

Coukd your sweetheart use some dog snuggles and puppy love??? For Valentine's Day, send them a therapy dog visit with on...
01/17/2023

Coukd your sweetheart use some dog snuggles and puppy love??? For Valentine's Day, send them a therapy dog visit with one of our amazing Loving Paws certified therapy dogs! ❤️🐾❤️

The Loving Paws Pack grew by 9 teams today, as we celebrated the successes of these great dogs and handlers!!!!!!Each te...
09/25/2022

The Loving Paws Pack grew by 9 teams today, as we celebrated the successes of these great dogs and handlers!!!!!!

Each team successfully completed 6 weeks of AKC CGC training & final testing/certification, the Loving Paws Therapy Dog Final Evaluation/Testing, Orientation class & all required shadow visits!

Congratulations & welcome!!!!!❤️🐾☺️

Loving Paws teams attended the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare's "Back to School Bash" for KU Social Work ...
09/01/2022

Loving Paws teams attended the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare's "Back to School Bash" for KU Social Work Students!

We're excited to add 6 new therapy teams to the Loving Paws Pack. Congratulations & welcome!!!!❤️🐾☺️
07/25/2022

We're excited to add 6 new therapy teams to the Loving Paws Pack. Congratulations & welcome!!!!❤️🐾☺️

Just one of the many reasons that we do what we do…
07/16/2022

Just one of the many reasons that we do what we do…

Cortisol levels associated with stress are reduced after interacting with cats and dogs, researchers report.

Come see us at EarthWise Pet / Lawrence meet some pups and get some homemade treats! We also have a drawing for a gift c...
06/18/2022

Come see us at EarthWise Pet / Lawrence meet some pups and get some homemade treats! We also have a drawing for a gift certificate to EarthWise! ❤️🐾

*BARK SALE UPDATE*Due to the extreme heat advisory expexted for Saturday we will be shortening the bark sale from 10 to ...
06/14/2022

*BARK SALE UPDATE*

Due to the extreme heat advisory expexted for Saturday we will be shortening the bark sale from 10 to 12! ❤️🐾

EarthWise Pet is partnering with the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program Volunteers to welcome summer and celebrate dogs!!!

Join us at Earthwise Pet Supply and Grooming in Lawrence Saturday from 10am - 2pm. Come and learn what it takes to be a certified therapy dog and meet some of our certified THERAPY DOG TEAMS & shop their Bark Sale of tasty treats and merchandise!

4931 W 6th St
Unit 112
Lawrence, KS 66049
United State

Riley and Raiyna brought smiles, good vibes and wished good luck to the students at KU tonight ❤️💙🎓
05/13/2022

Riley and Raiyna brought smiles, good vibes and wished good luck to the students at KU tonight ❤️💙🎓

Daisy, Shakti & Walter Wooo Wooo loved getting to bring some stress relief to the students last night in Anschutz Librar...
05/11/2022

Daisy, Shakti & Walter Wooo Wooo loved getting to bring some stress relief to the students last night in Anschutz Library!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!❤️☺️🐾💐
05/08/2022

Happy Mother's Day!!!!❤️☺️🐾💐

Stress Bustin' @ KU. 5-5-22
05/06/2022

Stress Bustin' @ KU. 5-5-22

Maddie, Scooby & Shakti worked some stress busting therapy dog magic this evening in Anschutz Library!
05/03/2022

Maddie, Scooby & Shakti worked some stress busting therapy dog magic this evening in Anschutz Library!

HAPPY NATIONAL THERAPY ANIMAL DAY!!!!The last couple of years have been rough on my social, attentive therapy pups, and ...
04/30/2022

HAPPY NATIONAL THERAPY ANIMAL DAY!!!!

The last couple of years have been rough on my social, attentive therapy pups, and all of the certified therapy dogs in the Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc.

We've been busy testing and training and we are all super excited to finally have the 'green light' to get back out there and work some magic!

May will be an extremely busy month for our teams as we launch a new training program, and work hard to provide support to stressed university students, new readers, and many struggling with loneliness & isolation living in long-term care facilities.

The Loving Paws Program is comprised of some of the kindest, most giving human beings on this crazy planet, and their dogs are truly amazing. Our teams are a blessing to the community and to all they come in contact with!

Please make a donation if you are able, to help us continue to grow and expand our program and services!

Venmo @ LovingPaws

These dogs are living their best life bringing smiles to their community! Thank you Pinckney Elementary for having us at...
04/29/2022

These dogs are living their best life bringing smiles to their community! Thank you Pinckney Elementary for having us at Title Night! 📖 ❤️🐾

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Lawrence, KS
66046

Telephone

(785) 979-7937

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Thanks for the visit, Loving Paws! I am so glad my Mom got to see her friends, Rocky, Sherman and of course, Joyce after almost 2 months of quarantine.💚💚💚
A huge thank you to Harley Jane and Cathy for volunteering their time to come to Pinckney Elementary this summer! They have been coming to see the kiddos and Harley has enjoyed many stories being read to her. What an awesome team!!
I found this pic of Shakti in my iPod’s Camera Roll.

From December 2013!

Glad to see Shakti doing well today! 😊

- A KU grad
My mom is scheduled for her first visit, and is so excited! I’m so glad you are out there, Loving Paws! Animals are love.
We enjoyed meeting Curtis and Mary Ann at the dog park this morning... Sasha can't wait to be old enough to join you all!!