PAWS of CNY, Inc., Central New York’s largest non-profit provider of pet-assisted wellness services, will be holding free therapy dog evaluations by appointment only at Paws and Effect on Route 1 in Oswego on Saturday, April 14. Members of the Oswego Community who are interested in certifying their dog or cat to participate in PAWS of CNY’s pet therapy program are encouraged to submit an application to PAWS of CNY and book an appointment. Qualified applicants will be scheduled for evaluations on April 14.
According to Jessica Marabella, President of PAWS of CNY, the organization is looking for loving, well-mannered dogs and cats and generous members of the community who are interested in volunteering their time in one of PAWS of CNY’s pet assisted wellness programs.
“There is a great need for pet therapy in Oswego County” said Marabella. “We are looking for individuals interested in taking their dogs and cats to college campuses, nursing homes, hospitals, and community events to bring comfort and emotional wellness to those in need. We are looking for dogs with solid basic obedience skills, a loving demeanor, and who can tolerate being near other dogs without distraction. We are looking for calm, good-natured cats who enjoy sitting on laps and being pet.”
The PAWS of CNY therapy pet evaluation is the first step for dogs and cats looking to earn their PAWS of CNY therapy pet certification. The evaluation is performed by a PAWS of CNY evaluator who assesses the pet on established criteria of temperament, basic obedience (for canines), and the volunteer’s handler skills. The test is free and takes about fifteen minutes. Pets who pass the initial evaluation are scheduled for a three-month on-site facility evaluation at one of PAWS of CNY’s facility partners to complete the certification process.
The PAWS of CNY certification does not certify emotional support dogs, guide dogs, and other service dogs.
“Our certification is specific to our program,” explained Marabella. “Our certification qualifies pets and their handlers to participate in our programming, and fortunately there are many ways to get involved with PAWS of CNY. We have been growing rapidly over the past decade and are looking to add more volunteers to our membership who are interested in giving back with their pet.”
Individuals interested in scheduling their dog or cat for a free therapy pet evaluation on April 14 should submit an application to PAWS of CNY. Applications can be found at pawsofcny.org/apply.
For more information about PAWS of CNY and the therapy pet evaluation and certification process, visit pawsofcny.org.