Serving Baldwin and Mobile Counties with Canine Compassion
Therapy Dogs of South Alabama opens with a major impact. Seven registered Therapy Dog Teams are already visiting Mobile Infirmary in Mobile, and three Teams are registered to visit Thomas Hospital in Fairhope and Daphne.
Recruiting and certifying more Therapy Dog Teams is the priority for the therapy dog program since the demand for canine compassion is in such great demand for hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and a multitude of other venues. Dogs must meet temperament and behavior requirements to qualify. Therapy Dogs of South Alabama offers free training pop-ups to assist anyone interested in the certification process.
Therapy Dog organizations are prevalent throughout the US. They are backed by much research that indicates the profound physical and mental benefits for both children and adults. These trained Therapy Dog Teams serve a vital purpose in bringing comfort to so many, however, it is so much more than just that.
TK Jackson III serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Therapy Dogs of South Alabama. Casey Brock serves as Treasurer, and Frances McGowin is the Secretary. “We look forward to building a dynamic Board dedicated to expanding our work,” says Jackson.
Research shows immediate and lasting benefits to interactions with trained dogs. Students in schools experience behavioral changes, enhanced motivation, as well as grade improvements.
Patients in hospitals show physical changes in blood pressure and tolerance to treatments. Therapy Dog Teams regularly report seemingly miraculous incidences of patients being awakened from comas or speaking when they had lost their voices or becoming more interactive with family after withdrawing into hopelessness. Therapy Dog Teams are always in awe of the power of these canine connections.
Therapy Dogs serve their communities in the most impactful way. One Therapy Dog Team can visit up to 30 patients on each trip to the hospital or 40 or more students when in school or an equal number of nursing home residents. They also do powerful work in hospice care, children’s services, and rehabilitation centers.
Beth Roberts, the Executive Director, was also the Executive Director of Therapy Partners in Huntsville before moving to Fairhope. Frances McGowin who is assisting with development, founded and headed up a therapy dog program, then a service dog organization. Together they provide decades of experience that will benefit all of the people of Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
Therapy Dogs of South Alabama also assists handlers who want to use their Therapy Dogs in their professions. These professionals may be therapists, schoolteachers, administrators, social workers, first responders, or nurses.
Casey Brock is an Occupational Therapist, a faculty member at South Alabama University, and a volunteer, all with her therapy dog, Kate. “Integrating Kate into the curriculum for occupational therapy has so many advantages. Aside from relieving any student anxieties, Kate teaches them how to work with their clients in their occupational therapy practice after they graduate,” says Brock. ”It’s a win-win situation.”
A registered Therapy Dog is not a Service Dog and cannot be used as such.
If you are interested in becoming a Therapy Dog Team and serving your community, please visit our website: https://www.therapydogsofsouthalabama.org/ or join our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1265221130976588 or email Beth Roberts: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to find out about Therapy Dog requirements, free training, and guidance through the registration process.