Archive for the ‘Caring Creatures Events’ Category

AHF Pet Partners at CSUF

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

From DailyTitan

Titanwell advocates self-care with four-legged friends

Students with AHF Pet Partner Jen McCormick and Moana

A photo of students gather in front of the Titan Wellness patio to de-stress with therapy animals.
(Jiyo Cayabyab / Daily Titan )

Before the full force of the sun shined on campus and thousands of students rushed to their classes, the early risers got the chance to play with some four-legged friends.

Titanwell hosted its monthly Animal Therapy session yesterday at the Student Wellness patio. Animal Therapy gives students a new way to de-stress from the challenges they face at school.

“As students, we get so caught up in being focused on when the next paper is due — when our next exam is — but pet therapy allows us to really take in the moment, live in the moment and just pause,” said Angelika Sann, a social work graduate student.

After signing a liability form, everyone is welcome to spend time with the animals. In order to make the animals feel safe, groups are limited to 2-3 people at a time. Each animal has a handler with them at all times who is happy to answer any questions visitors may have about the animals.

“I believe that it’s a good way to advocate self-care, which is really important for college students,” Tiffany Nguyen said. “It’s our stress reliever because now school is getting harder.”

Titanwell is focused on giving their students and faculty members the best resources they can for mental health, which includes picking the right animal therapy organization to team up with.

Pet Partners and Animal Health Foundation have very high standards. They’re one of the few organizations that are allowed to be around children. So we figured Cal State Fullerton deserves the best,” said Gloria Flores, peer health educator at the wellness center.

Pet Partners is a nonprofit organization with more than 10,000 volunteers that offer animal-assisted therapy to diverse facilities such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

The Animal Health Foundation is a charity organization that works together with the California Veterinary Medical Association to improve the health and well-being of animals by supporting and promoting animal-related activities.

People wanting to become Pet Partner volunteers go through a screening process where the AHF assesses the interested applicants. The pet and pet-owner are viewed as a unified “team”; therefore, both must pass the screening process together. The test depends largely on the pet.

Jen McCormick, a therapy animal handler, registered her jet-black mini-rex rabbit, Moana, after being told that Moana would make a good therapy animal.

Before Moana helped the mental health of Titans, her partner saved her from a high-kill shelter. Moana had a mangled leg when Jenn adopted her, but she got help from SomeBunny Rabbit Rescue for an amputation.

“It’s very different from what dogs have to do. The dogs have to know how to sit, stay and leave it. The rabbits have to be calm. This is not normal for a rabbit. Rabbits, because they’re prey animals, they don’t like to be touched or picked up,” McCormick said.

The prey mentality makes rabbits unlikely therapy animals; however, Moana is one of 150 registered rabbits with Pet Partners. Her velvet-soft fur and big, entrancing eyes made her a big hit with students.

The student wellness center introduced animal therapy between 2015 and 2016. The positive reactions from students have motivated the center to provide more animals.

“We like the simplicity of it, so we try to keep it that way but decided to bring more animals because more people were coming,” Flores said.

Student Wellness workers look forward to seeing the students’ reactions with the therapy animals.

“First, [the students] come in and they come out and the reaction to all the animals is really rewarding,” said Sabrina Gonzalez, a peer health educator.

All forms of mental health care are equally important. Even if some methods like animal therapy seem small in comparison to more formal ones, like one-on-one therapy, every step counts.

According to CRC Health, some of the benefits from animal-assisted therapy can include a decrease in feelings of anxiety, loneliness and grief. It can also improve focus and attention, as well as offer an alternative to those who are resistant to other forms of treatment.

“Things like this are very important for us to have access to. I feel like people don’t realize  that even just petting animals is very therapeutic,” said Sarah Stahl, a social work graduate student.

Almost 40% of college students struggle with mental health issues; therefore, they can benefit the most from something as simple as petting animals.

Therapy Dove, Cloud, Visits UCI

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

AHF’s Caring Creatures’ Therapy Dove, Cloud, and his partner, Daleen Comer, visited student at UCI

this past week to help with stress relief during finals week.

Pet Partners at Petco in La Habra

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Several AHF Pet Partners teams were at Petco in La Habra on Saturday, October 12th, CA to talk to people about Pet Therapy!

Team from Left to Right are:  Katy Trumbo and Delilah, Daleen Comer and Cloud the Dove, Ingrid Eck Pullen and Cody and Jane Horsefield and Kiss.

 

Letter from Student Thanking Janell and Piper!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

AHF Therapy Dogs help kids during school exams relieve stress

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

 

SJC High Schoolers DeStress after PSATs

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Kiersten Ballard, 15, attributes her lowered blood pressure to Blue’s “unconditional love” at San Juan Capistrano’s Saddleback Valley Christian on Weds., Oct. 11. His looks lowered too. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Animal Health Foundation Caring Creatures Pet Partners Therapy Animal Teams make many visits in the community. Here are several of our teams in San Juan Capistrano helping students relax after taking PSATs! Read on for a GREAT story from the Orange County Register!

 

Two dogs and a ring-necked dove help Orange County high schoolers de-stress after test

AHF Teams Help Students Celebrate “Read Across America Day”

Monday, March 27th, 2017

 

For the second year, AHF Pet Partners teams helped students at John Adams Elementary School in Santa Ana celebrate Read Across America Day (March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

The nine handlers were assigned to two or more classes, where they read a story to the class, then let their dog visit with the students.  There were dogs on campus from 8:30 a.m.to noon. Some of the participating teams were the regular reading teams at the school, and they were joined by other teams who are considering joining the program, or work with children in other settings, such as CHOC.

The teams who participated were Dorrie Steele and Maddie, Val Draskovich and Nala, Jane Horsfield and Kiss, Katy Trumbo and Delilah, Sheryl Hagen and Grady, Daleen Comer and Macy, Doreen Weaver and Josiah (PP), Tammy Heider and Gracie, and Dorothy Taylor and Stryker.

Students, teachers, handlers, and dogs all had a wonderful and memorable morning.

AHF and Adams Elementary School Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday in a Novel Way

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Seuss EventOn March 2, 2016, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the tables were turned on seven Adams Elementary READ teams when the handlers helped the school celebrate the birthday by reading stories to the students, with their dogs in attendance.  John Adams Elementary in Santa Ana, CA, has had AHF teams in their classrooms for eight years as reading dogs, with additional teams participating in the Adams monthly Saturday library program.  On March 2, a combination of weekday and Saturday handlers brought their dogs to school and read books to the students. The participating teams were Gretchen Scott with Luna, Tammy Heider with Gracie, Suzanne Davidson with Juneau, Daleen Comer with Macy, Jim and Dorothy Taylor with Stryker, Geneva Comer with Bonnie, and Jane Horsfield with Kiss.

During the entire school day, 8:30 – 1:30, dog teams were on campus going to different classrooms for 20-minute sessions, during which the handlers read stories to the students, and allowed time for all the students to pet the dogs. Throughout the day, 24 classes of students were visited by the dogs and their partners. The dogs were in the spirit of the event, wearing Seuss fabric bandannas made by one of the members of the group. The books read by the handlers varied: some chose childhood favorites, some selected books their own children had loved, some picked dog-themed books, and some read the new Dr. Seuss book, “Which Pet Should I Get?” The students appreciated seeing the handlers in a more active role, and the dogs enjoyed the novelty of visiting multiple classrooms during their visit. One teacher commented, “Besides having the dogs in their rooms, the students were so excited to see the different dogs walking around the campus.  If you all felt as good about it as we did, this definitely needs to be an annual event.” The READ teams agree!

Stress Relief During Finals at Irvine Valley College

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Daleen and Therapy Dove Cloud, Christin and Therapy Dog Blu and Kelly with Therapy Dog Leonard had a great time at Irvine Valley College offering Stress Relief to students on May 20, 2015IVC-002 IVC-003 IVC-004 IVC-012 IVC-014 IVC-018 IVC-028

AHF Caring Creatures Pet Partner Teams

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Reading Dog 3

Teams Participate in R.E.A.D. Program

Click link above to see more!