Who We Are
Hand in Paw is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. HIP's 150 professionally-trained volunteers help improve people’s day to day lives at numerous facilities throughout Central Alabama. Our volunteers are the backbone of the organization and their dedication is unsurpassed.
To improve human health and well-being through Animal-Assisted Therapy.
In 1996, Animal-Assisted Therapy existed on a very limited number of radar screens, and it certainly wasn’t being used in Birmingham, Alabama. Soon after founder, Beth Franklin, created Hand in Paw, Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams became a familiar sight in area hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities.
From Hand in Paw’s earliest days as a 501(c)(3) organization, Franklin and the Board of Directors shared a vision of excellence. Great attention was paid to training and evaluation of all volunteers and their animal partners. This attention to quality continues to be a mainstay of Hand in Paw.
One woman struck out on a mission to design and build an organization that would, through the use of volunteer Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams, improve the health and well-being of people of all ages. Today, more than 150 professionally-trained volunteers carry out that mission. Hand in Paw has been lauded as an exemplary organization in terms of financial transparency, accountability, stewardship, and perhaps most importantly, an unselfish service to the community.