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Divine Canines

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Abstract

Divine Canines provides free animal-assisted therapy services to various populations in Central Texas. Divine Canines was formed in 2004 by a group of dog lovers who had the goal of sharing the unconditional love of dogs with people confined to special needs facilities in Central Texas. We began with a group of five handlers and dogs, one large client – the Austin State Hospital – and a professional dog trainer who generously agreed to volunteer his time.

We now have more than 100 dog-handler teams who visit two dozen facilities and hundreds of children, adults and elderly persons on a regular basis. Our clients face various challenges, and therapeutic interaction with our specially trained dogs can result in emotional and physical benefits such as improved mood, confidence, communication, relaxation, and trust.

Our success is based on two simple premises. First, there exists a deep, mysterious bond of healing between humans and their dogs. Second, dog enthusiasts are a responsible, dedicated and highly driven volunteer demographic. Our volunteer teams care about their community and want to share the joy their dogs give.

Submitter

Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Location Texas
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Tags
  1. Alzheimer disease
  2. Animal-assisted activities
  3. Animal-assisted therapies
  4. Animal visitation programs
  5. Eating disorders
  6. Hospitals
  7. Military
  8. Reading
  9. Service animals
  10. visitors