Pawsitive Living and No More Bullies!

Pawsitive Living is an innovative 12-week program that teaches compassion and anger management to at-risk children and youth. Written by licensed professionals, Hand in Paw's proprietary, evidence-based Pawsitive Living curriculum works to prevent family and community violence and prepare youth to be better citizens and parents in the future. A one-to-one ratio of Hand in Paw’s professionally trained volunteers and youth from partnering agencies is a critical aspect of the program, because it fosters the formation of mentor/mentee relationships. Activities that teach healthy ways of coping incorporate the animals. The pets serve as a bridge of communication between the volunteers and the participants, many of whom have developed a hard façade due to past experiences. At the end of the program, participants demonstrate their change in perspective and ability to contribute positively to the community by visiting, with our Therapy Teams, a facility that serves people with special needs.

Contact with animals has been proven to teach the importance of care giving and responsibility, and for victims of abuse, the benefit of animals is tremendous. According to Dr. Samuel B. Ross, Executive Director of Green Chimneys Children’s Services in Brewster, New York, animals can empower children to break the cycle of abuse. “For many children whose nurturing has been faulty, taking care of an animal can interrupt the cycle of abuse repeating itself over generations. They can learn to be caregivers, even if they haven’t been well cared for themselves.” Further, victims of domestic violence are more likely to open up and talk about their feelings when animals are present. 

No More Bullies! is a 6-week humane education program for children. Incorporating the expertise of professional educators, counselors and animal behaviorists, the curriculum combines character education with a strong anti-violence message. The program gives children the skill set to solve problems in a loving, caring and productive way for all involved and the courage to stand up for themselves and those who are weaker.