Get Involved Spotlight: Divine Canines

May 1, 2016

From Divine Canines, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to more than 60 sites around Austin and Central Texas. Our specially trained dog-and-handler volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various physical and cognitive challenges, including mental illness, physical limitations and dementia. Clients who interact with our wonderful dogs benefit emotionally and physically, showing signs of improved mood, confidence, communication and trust. Our dogs love the attention and affection they get from our clients!

Mission statement: Partnering with our dogs to enhance the well-being of those in need.

Founded in 2004, Divine Canines is based on two fundamental principles. First, that there is a powerful, healing bond between humans and dogs, the depths of which we have only begun to understand. Second, dog enthusiasts are ideal volunteers – passionate, empathetic, energetic and highly driven. Our trained handlers and volunteer teams care deeply about their community, cheerfully sharing the gifts of joy and unconditional love their dogs so freely give.

Web address: www.divinecanines.org

Telephone: 512-655-DOG5 (3645)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DivineCaninesTexas/

Get involved with Divine Canines: It takes hard work and commitment to become a Divine Canines therapy team, but as any of our volunteers will tell you, the reward is worth it.

Prospective volunteer teams must first pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test. CGC title holders then attend our five-week training program to prepare for the types of clients and unique situations they will encounter during site visits.

Teams must average at least two visits (1 to 1.5 hours each) per month. This enables Divine Canines to be a consistent and reliable presence at client sites and ensures that our volunteers and their dogs maintain the high level of skills they achieved in training.

Barks for Beers: During the entire month of May 2016, Divine Canines will partner with 20 area craft breweries for our third annual Barks for Beers event. Purchase a specially designed Divine Canines pint glass for $20 at any of the breweries or participating retailers. Then take the glass and its accompanying ‘Pawsport’ and receive a free pour at each brewery at any time between May 1 and May 31. That’s right, 20 beers for $20. Proceeds go directly to Divine Canines to subsidize our training program so that we can put more dog-and-handler teams on the ground to serve more clients. For a list of participants and a map to all the breweries, go to www.divinecanines.org/barksforbeers.