By Renee Piper
Palouse Paws with a Cause is so grateful to be selected as the February Dime in Time funds recipient. We are a local community partner of the Pet Partners national organization. Pet Partners certifies human/animal teams to provide comfort visits to individuals who would appreciate them.
The first Pet Partners team to be registered in the Palouse region was Renee Piper and her yellow lab, Enzo, four years ago. Soon thereafter, Renee became a Pet Partners Instructor/Evaluator and established our local group, Palouse Pause with a Cause. There are now 40 registered teams (38 dogs, 1 cat and 1 guinea pig!) in the Moscow/Pullman area who volunteer their time to make regular visits to: Pullman Regional Hospital, Summit Therapy Health Services, Avalon Care Center, Good Samaritan Village, Bishop Place Senior Memory Ward, Circle of Caring Adult Day Services, Milestone Decisions’ group homes for adults with developmental disabilities, Harvest House Day Services for adults with mental illness, Family Promise for families in transitional housing, Palouse River Counseling, Washington State University Pet Pals, University of Idaho Vandal Health Education, Public Latah Library summer program and more.
Twice yearly we also visit Moscow High School and the University of Idaho residence halls for “Pet the Stress Away” events during finals weeks.
We also have a regular presence at community events such as University of Idaho Homecoming Parade, Moscow Farmers Market, and Officer Newbill’s Safety Fair. At these types of events we educate people about the differences between service animals, comfort animals, and family pets; as well as teach children the safe way to approach a dog.
Although everyone in our group is a volunteer there are many expenses for our rapidly growing program. Our ongoing costs include space rentals for training, skills practices, and evaluations; an annual meeting; insurance; informational brochures, and training materials.
Thank you for supporting Palouse Paws with a Cause throughout the month of March by donating your reusable bag and cup credits to us!
Also, we’re always looking to add more teams to our group. If you have a pet that enjoys people and you’d like more information, please visit us at our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PalousePaws/) or e-mail Renee Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org.