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Helping Paws Internationaltm is a Non-Profit organization using
pets with GENTLE PAWS and LOVING HEARTS. Coupled with their
owners GENTLE HANDS and LOVING HEARTS, the two provide a phenomenal Partnership
 that culminates in FURST AID FOR THE HEART.


 
Helping Paws Internationaltm/sm  is a non-profit, pet assisted therapy organization based in Raleigh, North Carolina. We are composed of members  along with their therapy or assistance dogs. Our purpose is to assist healthcare as well as other facilities and individuals to improve the quality of life for patients and staff by providing therapeutic pet-human interaction.

We believe there is no greater therapy than the love of a pet and the compassionate understanding of another human being.

Helping Paws Internationaltm was started in September 2000 following a discussion among a few greyhound owners about pet therapy and what wonderful pet therapists our gentle, loving rescued greyhounds would make. After contacting Pat Bleich of Greyt Therapy in Greensboro, NC, a division of Greyhound Friends of North Carolina, the necessary information was gathered on starting a pet assisted therapy program. Our deepest appreciation goes to Pat Bleich and the Greyt Therapy group for their help in getting our group started and for their continued support. While the majority of our current pet therapists are rescued racing greyhounds, we do accept all breeds of dogs, greater than one year in age into our program. We have a training program that culminates in the dogs receiving their AKC Canine Good Citizenship certification and their Helping Paws Therapy Dog certification. In addition, there are plans to add other types of pets to our program at a later date.

Helping Paws Internationaltm/sm is a non-profit organization. We do not charge to visit a facility. Our funding comes from membership dues, fundraisers, donations and corporate sponsors. The funds are used to provide insurance, training and supplies for our members and their pets such as small holiday surprises for the facilities we visit on a regular basis.

 

In 2005 we started training assistance dogs by helping people train their family dog to assist a family member with certain daily tasks.  Our assistance dog teams initially take the Helping Paws CGC-Therapy Dog certification program as their base training. Following completion of this this initial training, the assistance dog teams will have additional training focused on the skills needed by the handler. The assistance dog training is based on the availability of our trainers.

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