FORT MYERS, Fla. — The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is seeking volunteers for the Beesley’s Paw Prints therapy dog program.
Pets are proven to have therapeutic qualities such as improving mood and reducing stress levels for children and adults. Everyone can benefit from the unconditional love and attention animals give. Interacting with animals can invoke laughter and joy in people whose lives have been affected by illness or depression. Playing with pets can also encourage adults and children to become more physically active.
All dogs over one-year-old are eligible to apply to become therapy dogs. Dogs and their handlers are certified by a national organization such as Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Love on a Leash, and Pet Partners; just to name a few. Interested parties can obtain information on getting their dog registered on the United Way website: UnitedWayLee.org/beesley’s-paw-prints/.
Therapy dogs undergo testing to assure they have good manners and react positively to strangers. For more information on creating your own Therapy Dog team, apply at UnitedWayLee.org/beesley’s-paw-prints/, contact Beesleys@UnitedWayLee.org, or call at (239) 433-7204.
Beesley’s Paw Prints is a United Way collaborative with Children’s Advocacy Center and Gulf Coast Humane Society generously supported by founder, Carol Beesley. Currently, registered therapy dogs are making visits to various United Way Partner Agencies such as Family Initiative, YMCA, Children’s Network, IMPACT for Developmental Education, and LARC.