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Volunteer with your dog to help others

Volunteer with your dog to help others
Donna Forst and Paws for Healing pup Cricket.Photo by Don Forst

By Melissa Dowling

Paws for Healing, a nonprofit organization that brings pets into schools and hospitals to help with learning and healing, is looking for a few good dogs and owners who enjoy helping. The organization will hold a training series on three Saturday mornings beginning July 23. Your dog must be one year of age or older, have basic obedience, and must pass a temperament test. Owners need to attend two sessions of training to learn the protocol for being half of a Canine Assistance Team.

Paws for Healing helps kids in school learn to read, and visits hospitals and medical clinics, as well as senior housing facilities, throughout the Sonoma County. The program, organizers say, is a “win-win-win” because the dogs love the people and attention, the patients and students enjoy the pups, and pet owners leave with a smile on their faces knowing they have just made someone’s day much better.

For further information visit or call Donna Forst, Sonoma coordinator, at (707) 775-9241.