Pet Therapy For Kids At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter
There are over 50 children living at the shelter. Pet therapy is used as a tool to build esteem and foster confidence in the youths, many who are recovering from trauma.
“The children residing at Freedom House have left behind their familiar environment and loved ones to come to safety, including their pets in many cases. The pet therapy program is an opportunity for children to engage with similar animals in a therapeutic way,” says Cassandra Cook, Children’s Counselor at Freedom House.
Most recently Nina (pictured above, a French Bull Dog ) visited the shelter. Research shows that interacting with animals can lead to positive outcomes for children experiencing trauma through reducing their stress level and providing a sense of comfort, adds Cassandra.
“In the program, the children have the opportunity to interact with the dogs, teach them tricks through positive reinforcement, observe social skills, and learn about the various roles animals can play in the lives of humans as service animals,” says Cassandra.
Learn more about Nina (whose handler Patricia Motus is the manager of Barrier Free Living’s Occupational Therapy program) and meet all the A Fair Shake For Youth dogs.
The non-profit A Fair Shake for Youth partners with schools and community organizations in under-served neighborhoods to help kids develop the skills and behaviors that foster positive relationships with family, pets, peers, and the community. It offers programs that combine hands-on work with therapy dog teams and an engaging curriculum of dog-related topics.