As the research of therapy animals continues to expand, so do its benefits. Experts say that simply petting an animal releases an automatic psychological relaxation response, and physically lowers blood pressure.

PAWS of CNY is a local volunteer group that can already attest to the benefits that therapy dogs can have in varying situations. They provide pet-assisted wellness services to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, and airport travelers, among other community partners in various local counties.

They welcome members of the community with domesticated, well-mannered, and well-behaved dogs and cats to apply for certification. Certified teams participate in pet therapy programs and visit members of the community in need of comfort during visits. Pets who attend any specialty programs are required to meet and maintain the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification requirements.

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