SYRACUSE, NY – PAWS of CNY, Inc., Central New York’s largest non-profit provider of pet assisted wellness services, is expanding its services in Oswego County.
In order to meet the growing need of nursing homes, community organizations, and schools that it serves, PAWS of CNY is working to add teams of certified therapy pets to its program.
To assist with these efforts, PAWS of CNY will hold a free therapy pet evaluation session on September 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Paws and Effect on Route 1 in Oswego.
“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our footprint in Oswego County,” said Jessica Marabella, President of PAWS of CNY. “The interest in our programs that we have received from the Oswego community has been extremely positive. We have had strong partnerships for many years with schools and nursing homes in the area, as well as with SUNY Oswego, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to add certified volunteer teams to our organization that can help us further meet the need for pet therapy in the area.”
The PAWS of CNY therapy pet evaluation is the first step for dogs and cats looking to earn their PAWS of CNY therapy pet certification.
The evaluation is performed by a PAWS of CNY evaluator who assesses the pet on established criteria of temperament, basic obedience (for canines), and the volunteer’s handler skills.
The test is free and takes about fifteen minutes.
Pets who pass the initial evaluation are scheduled for a three-month on-site facility evaluation at one of PAWS of CNY’s nursing home or skilled living facility partners to complete the certification process.
“We are looking for dogs and cats that have a friendly and loving temperament in all environments, that get along well with other animals, and that demonstrate exceptional behavior and obedience,” said Marabella. “For dogs that may need a little extra preparation before the evaluation, we offer a five-week therapy dog training class, with sessions available throughout the year.”
In addition to its nursing home and skilled living facility pet therapy program, PAWS of CNY volunteers may participate in its child reading programs, college and university de-stress programs, and community outreach events.
PAWS of CNY certified therapy dogs that also earn the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen certification may also participate in PAWS of CNY’s hospital pet therapy program.
For more information about PAWS of CNY and the therapy pet evaluation and certification process, visit pawsofcny.org.
About PAWS of CNY, Inc.
PAWS of CNY, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Central New York that is dedicated to enriching the lives of people and animals through mutually beneficial interaction. More than 110 volunteers across Onondaga, Oswego, Cortland, Madison and Cayuga counties bring their pets to visit more than 70 locations in Central New York to provide pet assisted wellness services to the community.