What started out as a single program has turned into an ongoing partnership, one that benefits both Animal Friends and the Baldwin Borough Public Library. It all began in June when an Animal Friends volunteer visited the library with her trained PALS (Pet Assisted Literacy Service) dog for stories, songs and crafts. At the start of the program, children were taught the proper way to approach a dog, warning signs of when not to approach a dog, how to properly pet a dog, and other helpful information for children including what they should do if ever chased by a dog. Many families came for the visit, the children were enthralled, and the 45 minutes quickly passed. Parents began asking if they would be back for more visits, and after a few emails, our partnership was born as visits continued through the summer months.
Beginning this fall, we have developed a new twist on our partnership with Animal Friends called Paws for a Cause. Volunteers will continue their monthly library visits with their PALS furry friend but in our efforts to give back, we are asking that each family in attendance provide at least one Animal Friends Supply Drive item so that we may support their mission of providing shelter and adoption services for homeless pets, humane education, pet behavior classes, pet-assisted therapy, wellness programs and more. In return, Animal Friends supports our library's ever-present and ongoing mission of providing literacy programming for all ages and abilities through the provision of trained literacy dogs. Children are encouraged and welcomed to read aloud to the visiting dog, supporting research that children have shown vast improvement in reading ability and self-confidence in this judgement-free environment.
Paws for a Cause programs will be held on Saturdays at 11:00 am on the following dates: September 19 (register here), October 24 (register here), November 21 (register here), and December 12 (register here).
Animal Friends Supply Drive list can be found here.