The Animal Assisted Activities Program at New Hope is a monthly program that is facilitated by a partnership between New Hope Recreation Department and volunteers from Paws Together. Paws Together is an organization that is comprised of volunteers who take their personal pets, which are therapy dogs, to schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other places to bring comfort and joy to people.
Although the aim of assisted activities is not “therapy,” this evidenced-based treatment approach seems to already be working well, as our youth have shared the following comments:
- “They made me happy.”
- “The dogs lowered my anxiety completely.”
- “I love dogs and I had so much fun!”
- “It helps teach us responsibility.”
- “I think it is really helpful.”
- “Please bring them back.”
This is just a small sample of the joy shared by the youth participating in this program and one of the creative ways the staff and leadership of New Hope Carolinas try to meet the needs of the youth we serve.