Mission and Vision
Our mission is to improve human health and well-being by promoting mutually beneficial relationships with animals and using them as examples of God’s unconditional love.
What started as an outreach program in 1995 has grown into an organization with a wide footprint in the San Antonio area, with thousands of people served each year. PAWS for Service trains, certifies and places therapy dog teams in the greater San Antonio area. PAWS members and their dogs volunteer their time to encourage, support and comfort people. We visit children and adults whose activities and interactions are limited due to health or other reasons. We support hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, Veterans services and Schools.
Therapy Dogs vs. Service Dogs - Which One Are We?
At PAWS for Service, we only train therapy dogs. Many people use the terms “therapy dog” and “service dog” interchangeably, but there are major differences between the two.
Therapy Dogs do not have federally granted legal access to the types of public areas afforded to service dogs. A therapy dog and his handler/owner visit facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, VA facilities and schools. A therapy dog is there to be petted and provide comfort and affection to individuals at various places that request a visit.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A DOG THERAPY TEAM
Our comprehensive program includes behavioral dog training with specialized skills to complement animal visitations. Our classes include simulated and actual visitation experiences with personalized attention to each team. Classes have been developed to improve the existing bond between owners and their dogs.
We hold evening classes during the spring and fall at University United Methodist Church.
Members must be at least 18 years old and be able to visit at least once a month.
Dogs must be at least 2 years old, current on all vaccinations and be able to demonstrate basic obedience skills such as:
Walk on loose leash
Dogs must be well socialized: they must be able to accept petting from multiple people and not be reactive to other dogs