PAWS is a pet assisted therapy program sponsored by the Orange County
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to bring smiles and encouragement to the disabled, frail, and bedridden residents of nursing homes and hospitals, and others in need of the stimulation that pets can provide. The program gives satisfaction to volunteers and patients alike, and helps to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the human/animal bond. Results are not measured in miraculous recoveries but in smiles where there were frowns, in comprehension where none existed, and in awakened response brought about by the touch of fur or lick of a warm tongue. It is these small triumphs that make the PAWS program an enriching and rewarding experience for all concerned.
We have had four PAWS dogs: Chuck, Amelia, Maggie, Hunter and Seymore. You can learn about them on the About Us page. Chuck and Amelia visited an independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer facility,and a children's home. Maggie and Hunter visited an independent living facility and an Alzheimer's unit. Seymore visited an independent living facility.
Additionally, once a month Karen had been visiting a facility in the area for children ages 12-17 suffering with mental health problems. For this visit, she brought Ruby, a rescued greyhound belonging to a friend. Here are pictures of the four dogs who visited this facility. Sad to say, the facility visits have ended, and we all miss the beautiful children who so enjoyed our visits. Karen also visited a children's home with Ruby.
The children's home was Orangewood, Orange County's first intake residential facility for children who must be removed from their homes. The children range in age from newborn infants to 18, when they have to leave. Unfortunately, they frequently leave without any safety net.
For more information, check out www.spca.org
Sadly, we are dogless right now, but hope to change that in the fall. Stay tuned!