Therapy Dogs

June 22, 2020

The South Attleboro Village Lions Club not only received nine new human members on Saturday afternoon, but their four-legged friends as well during a ceremony at the outdoor chapel at LaSalette Shrine.

The recent inductees of the Lions, and their canine service partners, are part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Paws of Comfort, a new branch club of the Lions and the first of its kind in the history of the non-profit organization.

During Saturday’s ceremony at the shrine, which was chosen for its accommodating outdoor venue during the COVID-19 regulations, the service dogs seemed just as excited to be a part of the clubs’ new venture as their owners.

“For us, it’s extremely exciting and fulfilling for what we see as a longtime need in our community,” said Kathy Salem, the past district governor of District 33S of Massachusetts. “There’s a real need for comfort and support for individuals of traumas, accidents, disabilities and illness.”

Salem was quick to point out that the Paws of Comfort’s services are not limited to just a single community. This new branch will be able to assist “across a whole area” of southeastern Massachusetts, from Abington through Attleboro and into Provincetown.

“Our motto is, ‘We serve,’” Salem said. “It’s a great way to continue to show that kindness matters, and as Lions, we’re here to reach out to help in whatever way we can.”

The 12 dogs, which are of various sizes and breeds, are not so much “working dogs,” but rather dogs which provide comfort to anyone who needs it.

The idea to form the unique branch came from Lions members Debbie Horner and Monique Tedino, both of whom attended a seminar to learn about forming branch specialty clubs in Cheshire, Conn.

Horner and Tedino’s idea was readily supported by Gail Girard, president of the South Attleboro Village Lions.

“I think it’s a great idea to help us build and grow and to provide support to others in the other areas who need it,” Girard said. “We live in a fragmented and disjointed society, however one thing we can all depend on is a dog.”

The service dogs and their owners received prayers and a blessing from the Rev. Trey Crespo and the Rev. Flavio Gillio.

Other speakers at the event included Lions District Governor John Babb; Dr. Tony Salvatore of Bristol, Conn.; and Karen Downey, the principal of Conley Elementary School in Whitman. Both Downey and Salvatore testified to the benefits of having therapy dogs in school classrooms.

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    January 8, 2021

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    January 8, 2021

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    January 8, 2021

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    January 7, 2021

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    January 7, 2021

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    January 7, 2021

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more

    Police Dog Attack

    January 7, 2021

    A resolution headed to the Duluth City Council on Monday could put to rest a lawsuit filed by Teri Lynn Ehlers, an employee of the Patch Motel, who was bitten by a Duluth police dog named Oakley. Former Duluth Police Officer Marc Johnson was a registered guest of the Warroad establishment May 28, 2018, when […]

    Read more

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    More Recent News