Life in Action: Volunteer dogs provide pet therapy
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Every month, about 200 volunteers with Therapy Pet Pals
in Austin take their dogs to nursing homes and hospitals to give residents a dose of pet therapy.
These volunteer dogs bring smiles to people in need of visitors, but longtime Therapy Pet Pals volunteer Stacy Mefford says the program is beneficial to all involved.
"It's a win-win. It's good for them, it's good for me, it's good for the dog. I get to spend time with them."
Seeing the comfort and joy these dogs bring to the people they visit is what keeps Stacy committed to volunteering.
"You might encounter someone who's not happy, smiling or wanting to be sitting there and, within a few seconds, the dog tends to bring out a smile," she said.
A good dog, big or small, can bring happiness to new friends longing for visitors. The dogs do not require special training, just good obedience and they must be able to commit to two visits a month.
"Just a well-behaved, sweet dog with a good temperament is what we're looking for," Ms. Mefford said.
Therapy Pet Pals is always looking for more volunteers. For more information on how you can get involved or donate to the organization, visit TherapyPetPals.org.