We have been working super hard at K9Pro HQ over the past few months in conjunction with the charity BoysTown to put together a brand new pet therapy program to help improve the literacy skills and self esteem of disadvantaged children.
The pet therapy program will involve a team of volunteers, the K9Pro K9Angels, and their dogs visiting the San Miguel Family Centre, a service of BoysTown, once a week. The kids will be able to do things such as read to the dogs one on one in a relaxing and stress free environment, help us train the dogs by reading training instructions to the handlers and learning how to behave correctly around dogs and respect these wonderful creatures!
Encouraging kids to read to the dogs removes the threat of judgement that they can feel when reading to their peers or teachers. Not only will this help improve the kids literary skills and help them gain more self esteem and confidence, but it will also be an opportunity to learn how interact appropriately and safely with dogs.
The team at BoysTown are extremely excited about the launch of the new therapy program stating, “San Miguel Family Centre, a service of BoysTown, is looking forward to working with K9Pro to provide a pet therapy program for children experiencing homelessness.” The program will help improve the literacy skills of children and assist with self-esteem issues or learning challenges.
This is a therapy program that has had much success internationally and we are extremely excited to launch it today with a visit to the San Miguel Family Centre to run a dog safety course.
Steve Courtney, our Nationally Accredited Dog Trainer and Behaviourist, will spend the afternoon with a group of kids teaching them how to interact with dogs safely before we being our weekly
We have a number of super volunteers already on board but we would love to hear from anyone who may be interested in participating in this exciting and rewarding initiative and has a dog they feel would be suitable for therapy work.
This program will hopefully grow all over Australia.
Steve says, “The kind of dogs that are most suitable for this work would be dogs that are well balanced in temperament, not nervous of children or noise, and would be happy to relax quietly on a mat while a child sits next to them. If your dog has not been mat or crate trained before but meets the temperament requires for therapy work, we can assist you with training these behaviours and other skills.”
Volunteers need to be available during week day afternoons. Every dog participating needs to be given an official temperament test by Steve to be eligible for the program. There are no costs associated with the training or assessment of any dogs.
If you are interested in volunteering in the K9Angels Child Therapy Program and feel your dog is suitable send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. We look forward to keep you all updated on the progress of this great program!