Therapy Dogs Lend A Paw

Junior+Amber+Kurshi+hold+one+of+angel+paws+therapy+dogs+during+the+Mental+Health+fair

Photo by Carina Camacho

Junior Amber Kurshi hold one of angel paws therapy dogs during the Mental Health fair

Jayda Hacock, Staff Writer

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Angel Paws came out to Klein High School for the mental health fair in November to help raise awareness and to show a helping paw with their therapy dogs.

Angel Paws is a church organization that goes out to group homes, women shelter, and the boys and girls club to help the citizens speak out and to help company them and make them feel more comfortable about their situation. The people of the church come together with their dogs and help provide comfort.

“There is a lot of scientific research that even doctors did at hospitals, where people who are sick touch a dog then it lowers their cortisol and increasingly makes them feel better.” said Debbie Beringfild creator of Angle Paws

Elementary students all over Harris County use the dog’s assistance to increase their education.

“When we go to schools the kids read to them, it helps reduce their stress levels. It also influences their literacy skills,” Beringfild said. “When we sit in reading circles and they are petting the dogs, you can see their confidence level go up, their voice improves.”

Counseling unions use Angel Paws to reach out to those kids who have autism to get the kids to communicate.

“They use them for social and emotional for kids who won’t talk about things that bother them, we use the dogs to get people to talk about things that bother them,” Beringfild said

Not only do children benefit from the company of the dog’s senior health has also been supported by the animals.

“We go to assistant living facilities,” Bringfild said. “They say that for people with Dementia and Alzheimers just the pure touch of the animal can bring back memories and they start talking about their childhood, and any old memories of their old pets.”

The dogs go out to social events to work with people with who have suffered traumatizing events.

“We work with girls who were sex trafficked. The counselors use the dogs to help them open up.” Beringfild said

Oliver who is Breingfelds’ personal pet was adopted from a local rescue group and has grown to love helping all different types of people.

“Oliver has brought people out of an unconscious state,” Bringfeld said “Take him into the hospital and take patients hand and just stroke their hand on Oliver and it pleases their emotional state and makes them feel more secure in the environment.”