PaWs provides comfort and morale in the KMC

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PaWs provides comfort and morale in the KMC

by: Stacy Roman | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: February 14, 2017

Walking through the halls of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), you may find yourself face-to-face with a furry new friend. This isn’t just any pet — it’s an ambassador from the Pets and Warriors (PaWs) program. Run by the American Red Cross, PaWs is more than just an animal-assisted therapy program for LRMC. These cheerful companions can also be found welcoming troops home from deployment, assisting in resiliency workshops for spouses, visiting schools and lending floppy ears to children learning to read. 

Animal-assisted activities have been steadily on the rise in hospitals and schools over the past few years. Not only can these furry friends provide comfort during traumatic times, but visits have also been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety in students and children. Visits aren’t usually extensive — just long enough to lift spirits and bring smiles.

Registering your pet

There are many steps before your pet can become part of the PaWs program. Dogs must be at least 2 years old, spayed or neutered, owned for at least one year, pass the PaWs evaluation, be a certified American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen, be up-to-date with all vaccines, and have a complete physical and health exam through the Kaiserslautern Veterinary Treatment Facility. Cats are also allowed to become PaWs participants. They must be at least 1 year old, owned for one year, must be spayed or neutered and pass a temperament test. If any signs of aggression are exhibited during exams, it will result in an automatic dismissal from the program.

To schedule a PaWs visit for your organization, or to apply to the program, visit pawsrx.weebly.com.

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