If you love dogs and helping people, then our Pet Therapy program will be of interest to you. Every Thursday, we have volunteers go to Asilo de Ancianos (St. Vincent De Paul Senior Center) in La Paz. Once a month we bring dogs to the CRIT (Centro de Rehabilitacion Infantil Teleton) or center for disabled children. We bring dogs that are not only great therapy dogs, but dogs that have been rescued – sometimes from tragic circumstances. The people in these facilities find great joy in interacting with a dog that has come through a hardship they can relate to. Many of these dogs are available for adoption so it gives us the opportunity to photograph them and show people how sweet and gentle they are. But it also helps us understand how the dogs interact with disabled children and elderly people and see a side to them that might not be evident in other settings.

This gives us the opportunity to talk to the residents, staff, and visitors about the importance of sterilization, vaccinations, and proper animal care while providing comfort, company, and entertainment to the residents. It is a way for us to bring animals and humans together in a unique setting. Each visit is deeply rewarding for all involved. People see the dogs that have been rescued from the streets as clean, healthy, and beautiful. We can tell them that it was not always this way for these dogs – that they have been given hope. It reminds the residents and all of us involved that this same hope extends to humans.

Sometimes the people love seeing the dogs so much, they don’t want them to leave. Sometimes a disabled dog is of particular comfort for a disabled person. The dogs seem to understand just how gentle to be, where to put their paw and how to gently coax someone to smile. We hope the presentation below will give you an idea of what a wonderful program this has evolved into and will bring a smile to your face. If you have an interest in Pet Therapy, contact us at volunteer@bajadogslapaz.org and we’ll get you involved.