Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hand in Paw

3,853 pageviews

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Health, Health Care, Human Services, Youth Development

Mission: To improve human health and well-being through animal-assisted therapy

Target demographics: people of all ages facing physical, mental, behavioral, cognitive, and educational challenges

Direct beneficiaries per year: the patients, students, and clients of 100 inpatient medical units, clinics, schools, and a wide range of human service agencies

Geographic areas served: North Central Alabama

Programs: • Petscription – Positive distraction from pain and worry for patients in hospitals and motivation for meeting therapeutic goals in rehabilitation units and early intervention programs • Pawsitive Living™ & No More Bullies– A curriculum-based, goal-directed program for troubled youth, teaching anger management, relationship-building, empathy and compassion • Sit, Stay, Read! – Encouragement for reluctant young readers to gain confidence, sharpen their skills and improve school performance by reading aloud to a nonjudgmental furry friend

Community Stories

88 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw has helped my granddaughter over the past two years by bringing dogs to Children's Hospital in Birmingham. this has brought her comfort on clinic days when she has chemo with a number of needle sticks. She was terrified of needles when she was first diagnosed, I don't know how she would have coped without this wonderful program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My little dog, Pippa,my husband and I have worked with HIP for the last 8 years.
We usually visit once a week. We have worked in Children's of Alabama,
and are now at Bruno Cancer Center. What joy we receive when we make
the staff and patients smile during our visits. There is nothing as wonderful
as seeing the results of a therapy visit...holding a soft, warm little dog is hard to
beat!! We are so grateful to Hand in Paw for making our visits possible.
Philippa, Frank and Pippa Bainbridge

Christy R.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful organization. They come to UAB's campus to cheer up patients and students. I rushed downstairs last March when I realized they were in the building. I told my family if I'm ever in the hospital again to contact Hand in Paw because no medicine works on cheering your spirit like a visit from Hand in Paw does! I love this organization so much that once I'm able to get a dog I am planning to train it to serve as a Hand in Paw service dog.

Chelsea C.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that does wonderful things and I am hoping to join the team with my dog soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw provides highly desirable and much needed animal assisted therapy in our community. I have witnessed children’s faces light up at the sight of our therapy teams during times when they need them the most! I am so proud to be involved with this incredible organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization with wonderful staff members.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the owner of 5 Standard Poodles, three were rescued, also 2 Recused horses and 6 rescued cats. Love them all and they are here on my farm forever. This endeavour of Hand in Paw in an inspiration for all other nonprofits. Does amazing things for our tiny four footed babies. I recommend this organization highly!

Kaileigh B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was doing a clinical at a pediatric PT clinic twice a week for a semester and a Hand in Paw team came each day during my time shadowing. It was so amazing to see the children's faces light up and sometimes even perform their therapy better when the dogs were there. Sometimes the dogs were even included into the therapy, such as a patient who was working on walking getting to take the dog for a walk. Some patients would walk further than they normally would. It was so amazing to watch the children having fun and smiling, not realizing they were still doing their therapy when they were interacting with the dogs.

Hand in Paw teams have also come to my college during high stress times during the year and it has been so amazing how much the dogs can calm us down and bring us some stress relief. Talking to their owner about them, sitting down and petting the dogs, and just taking a break from reality for a few minutes is so nice.

1 Steve B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw serves the Birmingham- Hoover Metro Area with unconditional love and support. HIP’s therapy teams visit area hospitals, schools, nursing facilities, and businesses to bring smiles and unconditional love. Many of their teams are integrated into learning programs, physical therapy tratments, and mental health/counseling sessions. They also have special teams trained in trauma and grief therapy to support schools and workplace crises.

jjohnson13

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have attended several visits with the thearpy teams and have witnessed the work they do. The team, that consist of the dog, handler, and a helper. I have seen this team walk into a setting where a toddler was doing rehad and this little boy was not happy. When he saw the dog I saw his face light up and the biggest smile you have ever seen came on that little boys face. I have seen this many times and you can see the healing process take a surge forward in the smiles on the kids and retired seniors they visit. A wonderful organization performing a wonderful service.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, we go on shadow visits to see the therapy team in action. I wish we could take everyone on one of these visits. My visit was seeing a 3 year old little boy getting some much needed physical therapy and he was not having it. When the therapy dog walked into the room he went from crying to the biggest smile you have ever seen. That so enforced my love and support for this organization.

1 Rene N.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I have seen this group in action in so many different situations, all with different needs, such as Ronald McDonald House, a nursing home, a children's hospital, a school, a shelter for adolescent runaways...with these variety of needs being met by the gentle presence of the sweet animals and volunteers within the program. I've seen children crying from pain and fear, suddenly laugh and smile when their dog friend wags his tail and sits close. I've seen nursing home residents sing to the dogs and smile and use all their strength just to reach out to touch and stroke the dog that reminds them of home and days of their youth. Residents who are isolated and never want human contact, always welcoming the dogs. I could go on and on. It is such an honor to be a part and to be a front row witness of the healing and joy unconditional love from the animals brings to so many in so many ways.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am very impressed with the work Hand In Paw does. It is a great organization that provides comfort and therapy to so many.

Cooper F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is an excellent non-profit bringing animal assisted therapy to Alabama. Their events are well run and their social media and outreach is outstanding. I'm proud to assist at HIP Events and support the organization.

BrittanyJ15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I used to work at a ad agency where I was able to do design work for Hand in Paw. Through this process, I was able to learn all about them and started volunteering with them. It is so rewarding. The impact they have on the Birmingham community is beyond measure. People's lives are changed by their visits and animal-assisted therapy interactions.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw helps so many people in so many ways...when you see and hear stories of children with physical disabilities, communication issues, and bullying issues have experiences with Hand in Paw therapy dogs, it is truly heart warming. The children have smiles on their faces, they come out of their shell, they have days that they look forward to. I have seen children at the Bell Center very involved with therapy dogs from singing, walking, playing, learning to be gentle, and laughing when they get a kiss from the dogs. I have heard about the stories at UAB and Children's hospital of the smiles from patients receiving treatments that would otherwise cause much anxiety, but because of the therapy pets, the treatment actually involves smiles.
Hand in Paw is beneficial to patients, families, and the therapy teams. Every life touched has a positive experience.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization has helped many people get through difficult physical and emotional situations with the help of animal assisted therapy. Children have learned to read, become responsible, and to not bully with the help of Hand In Paw. People all of ages have smiled, laughed, and been comforted by the touch of an animal.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I believe in the power of animal assisted therapy and LOVE what Hand in Paw is doing in central Alabama!! Hand in Paw volunteers bring so much joy and happiness to so many people in need.

Board Member

Rating: 5

To me, Hand in Paw encompasses so many facets of assistance to others in our community. On any given day, their certified trained teams can be found spreading love and compassion at our local Children's Hospital, Hospital Cancer Center, School Reading Programs, working with troubled youth, developmentally disabled children, visiting an Assisted Living Facility or Skilled Nursing Facility, at a local university or business providing stress relief from exam pressures or stressful business environments. Many of the animals who are a vital part of the trained therapy teams are actual rescues from local animal rescue organizations. In volunteering with Hand in Paw, it's been a segway in to working with or touching so many other organizations where we all work together to enrich one another's respective missions. This is just one of the many reasons why I am dedicated to, and love, Hand in Paw.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization encompasses so many avenues of service to the community with their diverse vision and utilization of pets who are trained, along with their owners, to provide animal assisted therapy. The standard of excellence in which they conduct their business has gained them national & international attention with other similar entities reaching out to them for guidance in their own programs.
Hand in Paw currently provides pet assisted therapy to Cancer units in hospitals, Children's Hospital & various units within that hospital, workplace stress environment therapy along with college campuses & study groups, therapy assistance with troubled youths, reading & literacy programs, autistic and developmentally disabled, therapy visits to the elderly at Assisted Living & Skilled Nursing facilities as well as the abused, battered, mental health and substance abuse. Their scope of services continues
to expand and be in demand creating a broad waiting list of clients to experience their compassionate services delivered through their trained pets and the pet owners.
It's pretty cool to see them in action.

Board Member

Rating: 5

After going on several visits, I simply had to get involved with HIP. It is an amazing group doing amazing work at Children's, UAB, and so many other institutions around this city. As a board member and as a husband/dog parent of a therapy team, I see all the angles of this organization and couldn't be more impressed with the work HIP does.

2 Laura G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first started working for my current employer 11 years ago, I noticed the animals in the lobby and wondered how they were allowed inside a hospital. I inquired for more information and learned about Hand in Paw and their Petscription Program. Shortly thereafter I got a puppy of my own and becoming a therapy team with Hand in Paw seemed like the logical next step. We cherished our time as a therapy team, but Lula has since retired. My love for Hand in Paw hasn't stopped though. I am still actively involved on their Junior Board.

1 Katie K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is one of the most rewarding non-profits to be involved with. From the staff to all of the volunteers (animals included), they are a joy to work with. Their mission is amazing and their work in the community is even better.

2 MFlinn

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work for the nonprofit, The National Humane Education Society, and we partnered with Hand in Paw for a week-long outreach visit to Alabama to teach nearly 2,000 Birmingham elementary students about kindness to animals and the human-animal bond. Without question, Hand in Paw arranged for 5 therapy animals to visit across 5 days of programming. It was amazing! Students who were previously terrified of dogs were laughing, smiling, and petting the dogs. Most had never learned the safe way to approach a dog and many had never learned about the emotional lives of animals. Best of all, Hand in Paw partnered with us solely out of their desire to help their community. They wanted nothing in return. The NHES humane education team is so appreciative of their graciousness and talents!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with Hand in Paw through my daughter who was a volunteer at the time. I started looking into it and was amazed at the work they were doing and became a volunteer myself.. I work full time now, but when I retire I plan to be much more involved.

Tiffany74

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HIP does so much good work that they can't even do it all! Calling all volunteers!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined HIP 41/2 years ago with my dog, Dinah. Currently we visit 3 facilities: Children's Hospital of AL, UAB Hospital, and a day program for memory impaired adults. I often feel I get more out of visiting than the clients! It's volunteer work that offers immediate rewards to the participants - I love doing this!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of HIP as a volunteer is a privilege for me and for Dinah, my schnauzer mix. The preparation, confidence, and continuing support HIP gives to handlers and dogs both during and after training has enabled us to feel like we are "making a difference" as we visit clients. Dinah and I currently visit a retirement community, an alzheimers daytime care facility, and UAB Highlands Hospital. In the past there have been many other types of facilities/events. At each and every one, our reward is seeing faces light up and people become engaged when they meet Dinah. She knows when we are leaving for a visit and her tail goes into overdrive-wag! Thank you, HIP for this opportunity, and for being the professional-yet-personal, efficient organization that you are.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My "pound puppy," and I trained, tested, and were a therapy team with Hand in Paw for 6 years. While we retired as a team, I continue to volunteer as an assistant with other pet therapy teams. I have seen firsthand the impact it can have on ones who need encouragement, motivation, and diversion. Hand in Paw has provided the training, facilitated our visits, and maintained records of our visits.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with HIP everyone is friendly and always willing to help anyone in need. I go to Children's of Alabama and it is so rewarding when you can put a smile on a child's face and also there parents, as they go thru there challenges.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Hunter Towe had to stay at Children's of Alabama Hospital for 5 straight months.He had an LVAD implanted and during this his kidneys quit functioning as they should so he had to go on dialysis 24 hrs. a day.He couldn't leave the room for several months because of the dialysis.The only bright spot in his day was getting to see Chivas from Hand In Paw.Chivas was used as a reward to get Hunter to do his therapy and it worked. The Currie's that brought Chivas to the hospital are loving and wonderful people that really care and enjoy what they do. God called Hunter home May 3, 2016 at the age of 15.I will always be thankful to Hand in Paw for the joy that Chivas brought to my son and to all of us.You will never know how much it meant to me to see the joy in my son's face after all the things he was going through. Hunter was missing his dog from home so much and Chivas helped ease that a little.Hunter did get to go home for a few months before he passed and he loved spending time with his dog-Striker. Kids and adults need the love an animal can give and Hand in Paw is a great example of that. I LOVE this organization !!!! Thank You-Sherry Towe. The first picture is Hunter with Chivas and the next picture is Hunter with his dog Striker.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog and I have been volunteering with Hand In Paw for over two years after my move to Birmingham. I visit weekly to United Cerebral Palsy of Birmingham and Vestavia Hills Elementary. These visits are the most rewarding parts of my week. The staff at Hand In Paw does everything possible to make sure that the volunteers have all the assistance we may need (both in personnel and supplies) to share the human animal bond with those we visit.

Rebeccah C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing program and people and pets!!! Love watching these therapy teams change lives daily.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand the impact these therapy dog teams have on so many individuals. People within this organization are compassionate and care deeply about the people within their community. They give tirelessly.

Ashley175

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is truly a wonderful organization that brings joy and happiness through animal-assisted therapy to thousands of people across central Alabama.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in the hospital 10 days before my twins were born and having Buddy come sit on my bed one morning was wonderful. I'm a dog person and Buddy could tell. His owners said he had never stayed as still as he did when I was petting him. His picture card is in my twins' baby books. Thank you for sharing your furry friends with those who need a smile!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand In Paw has enriched my life as well as the many children, their families and employees that I have visited at Children's hospital. I have primarily assisted at the Oncology/Hematology clinic and to see the stress be removed from all of their faces and bodies when they see the dog is truly a wonderful feeling.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome group with the best mission on the planet. Love HIP!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This year marks my third year on the Board of Directors of Hand in Paw. While I'm excited about the work that the Board is doing, it is the therapy teams and the volunteers who are at the heart of this amazing organization. One "shadow visit" to watch what the therapy teams and the volunteers actually do on a day-to-day basis and the effect these folks and their animals have on people's lives is all it takes to become an avid and life-long supporter of Hand in Paw. To say that Hand in Paw deserves to be a "top-rated" nonprofit seems almost an understatement, but it would be an earned and well-deserved accolade for this great charity.

Thanks for your consideration!!!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've worked with the Hand in Paw Board and its volunteers for the last year and have never experienced a more dedicated group of folks in the non-profit arena. What our the therapy teams are able to accomplish and the impact that they have on the lives of both adults and children are, quite simply, amazing. Hand in Paw is so deserving of any and all recognition for the work it does.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is amazing, and I am so fortunate to get to volunteer with my pup Charlie as one of their therapy teams!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in the office for 14 years and I can vouch for the integrity, compassion and dedication of this organization. Today I am just as passionate as I was in the beginning about Hand in Paw's contribution to the community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hand in Paw for almost 10 years, and still, everyday I am amazed by the work that they do and the positive effects it has on our community. Animal assisted therapy is a proven method of the human/animal bond that truly exists. I am very proud to be a part of their mission.

Vicki65

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with my dog and also on the staff. I started volunteering in 2001. Over the years I have personally witnessed many angry young people in Pawsitive Living begin to show warmth and compassion. I know our work is impacting lives forever. Hand in Paw is amazing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What other organization encourages volunteers to work alongside their pet in order to make a difference in people's lives?! Hand in Paw is an incredible organization where you can volunteer with your whole family AND your pet! Volunteers can truly participate in this organization's mission: "To improve human health and well-being through Animal-Assisted Therapy". Hand in Paw is unique in that it is a nonprofit organization that serves so many other nonprofit's mission throughout the area-I believe that is what sets it apart from other organizations--the impact of their services is so profound that other nonprofit organizations seek their services to help the population they serve. Hand in Paw truly makes a difference.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've observed Hand in Paw animal-assisted therapy have a profound impact on the quality of life among the children and adults they serve. The dog-friendly events they host throughout the year are well planned and tons of fun.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have witnessed first hand the life changing power that Hand in Paw teams bring to those most in need . They restore dignity , respect and a sense of belonging to those whom life or circumstance has set aside . This organization is well organized , mission focused and populated with passionate and talented staff and volunteers worthy of your sponsorship . They have mine .

Jeannie B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

If you like volunteering with your kids and family-- this is a wonderful organization for it!! My kids and I visit a variety of places with our therapy Golden Retriever, Lucky. It is more beneficial to my kids than it is to those we help. It is just so very rewarding. Everyone should become a therapy team.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and Board Member with Hand In Paw. My kids (son Banks (14) and daughter Lauren (13)) and I volunteer 1-2x a week with our therapy dog Lucky. We often get more out of these visits than those we visit. My kids get to see other kids their age with "real" life problems and are forced from the bubble they reside in every day. They learn to appreciate their lives, health and family. Those they visit benefit from seeing my kids take time from their very busy schedules to spend time with them (we often participate in 12-week Pawsitive Living Programs or monthly visits with the elderly at assisted living homes). Plus, they adore Lucky who is the perfect dog for pet therapy. We have seen abused kids "come out of their shells" with Lucky and end a visit by hugging and laying on him. The smiles Lucky brings to everyone's faces is worth all the money in the world!!!

Hand In Paw is especially unique and fabulous because it reaches and benefits a huge spectrum of other charities. From Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House to homeless shelters and retirement homes-- Hand In Paw helps all sorts of people every day. I love it!

Board Member

Rating: 5

If you like dogs, cats, or any other pets, support this organization!

I was a member and committee head on the Junior Board, which organizes two large events each year. The events always go smoothly and all participants have good experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with Hand in Paw with my dog Banjo. From my very first interaction with this organization, I have been highly impressed with their commitment to excellence and professionalism in the training and services they provide. It is an absolute privilege to be part of this organization. It has enriched my life, and I am so thankful that through Hand in Paw, my daughter, my dog, and I can be part of enriching the lives of others in our community who are needy, struggling, or suffering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with HIP with my dog, Dinah. I just hope that the lives of the people we visit are as enriched as my own, through my HIP activities. The organization is dedicated to the programs and facilities we visit, as well to support of its own volunteers. It's growth over just the last 3 years I have been been visiting has been remarkable, thanks to the dedication of the staff and ever-increasing support by the community.

Beth124

Advisor

Rating: 5

Since founding Hand in Paw in 1996, my life continues to be enriched bystories of lives being touched (and bettered) by the unconditional love of a therapy animal. I have visited wtih 7 different thearpy dogs over the years and continue to visit with my Shih tzu Promise at Children's Hospital of Alabama. I am never ceased to be amazed at the significance of the interactions between a therapy team and a parent or child whose spirits are lifted (and in the process, there are important physical and emotinal benefits). HIP is filled with caring, dedicated volunteers and staff members and wiht animals glad to 'work their magic'. I am in AWE of them all!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Hand in Paw volunteer with my dog, Ivan. We enjoy the visits with clients and we get a lot of support from Hand in Paw. It is a great organization that serves the community well. I am proud to be a small part.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is a wonderful organization to work with. It's a pleasure working alongside the volunteers and it's wonderful to meet every person touched by their work. Hand in Paw reaches into every facet of the community and is unforgettable once you've seen a therapy animal at work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a member of Hand in Paw is not only fun but very inspirational. My husband, Frank Bainbridge, and I work as partners with our little dog Pippa. Through Hand in Paw we are able to go to Children's of Alabama and UAB to visit sick people. Without this organization we would not have access to these wonderful facilities. Hand in Paw trains us...we have to train the dog!...and then puts us through a series of tests to make certain that we are qualified to perform our visits properly.
We have been fortunate to be associated with many volunteer organizations, and can honestly say that Hand in Paw is one of the best! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to tell many people about Hand in Paw. Philippa Bainbridge

Charlotte W.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Ruby and I continue to serve the community through HIP, and feel blessed after each and every visit we make. We love our work with children and enjoy watching them read. The many patients we have visited in hospitals have touched our hearts. And the nursing home residents bring us joy. I often wonder who gets more out of the visits, us, or those we serve. I look forward to our future visits and the many friends we will make along the way.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so honored that my little dog, Ruby and I are a pet therapy team working with Hand In Paw. We visit retirement/ nursing homes on Sunday afternoons. There are some people so excited we are coming that they are waiting at the door for our arrival. Ruby and Ilove our weekly visits with shelter children. They read to her as part of our Sit Stay Read program. Some of the children even show her the pictures in the books they read. It is so cute and helps promote reading. We love visiting the hospitals and bringing smiles to the patients and their families. We know it helps to take some of the pain away, at least for a little while. And this past summer we participated in a Pawsitive Living program with a group of therapy teams. This experience alone, changed my life for the better. We witnessed through this program a tranformation in the lives of some beautiful teenage girls who had been used and abused. I will never forget the girls, and therapy teams, and the difference it made in our lives. And all of this was possible becaus of Hand In Paw.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw is a joyful and caring organization providing love and tenderness to many children, families and the staffs of groups all over our city. I first remember Hand in Paw many years ago when two of the members brought their dogs to visit children locked in the Family Court youth detention facility.

Hand in Paw has grown since then and now visits hundreds of people every year who are in need of loving attention and kindness. We help children read and help them in recovery from serious illness. We brighten the day of everyone we meet with our Therapy Teams.

I am proud to work with Hand in Paw and to be a part of the positive impact we have daily in the lives of others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been involved with our Flat Coat Retriever, Brewster for almost 10 years, it has been a privilege and and honor to have listened while children read to us and not be judged by Brewster. It has been amazing to watch boys with anger management problems learn to be gentle and kind. It has been incredible to see cancer patients smile for 5 minutes and forget their serious illness and to talk about their dogs at home waiting for them. It has seemed like a miracle to be with a patient at UAB and watch their heart rate settle down as they pet Brewster. He has no idea the impact he has but he loves every visit. Even the doctors and nurses LOVE some canine therapy!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dusty and Buddy, 2 Shih Tzus, would tell you that as they hear and see the reactions of children, families, and staff, they know they are making a difference in the lives of countless people. They would tell you that their lives are better as well. They bring smiles wherever they go! But listen as they tell it:

Whenever we hear our human pet partners say, 'You want to go to work' we get excited and can't wait to visit. Every Thursday we begin our day at the UAB cancer center and visit children who are having radiation. They and the staff are so glad to see us and they let us accompany the children into the room with the child. After the child wakes up after treatment they often ask for one of us!! We next go across the street to the UAB palliative care unit and often get in bed with patients who are nearing the end of their lives. We are humbled often as an unresponsive patient tries to pet and love on us! As we ride in our own pet strollers, you should see the surprised and excited looks we get from so many folks! We also visit in the memory and skilled nursing units at Kirkwood by the River. We are so pleased as patients tell us we remind them of their pets and thank us for the visit. Another place we go is the oncology unit at Children's hospital and offer what is called 'Sit, Stay, and Read'. The boys and girls love to read to us and we enjoy hearing them as well. We also visit the ACE (Acute Care for the Elderly) at UAB Highlands. Again, we cannot believe how happy old and young of heart are to see us and want us to get in bed so they can pet us! Of course, we love the attention and compliments.
So we want to thank Hand in Paw for the wonderful opportunity they give us to offer support, care, and love to so many people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I joined the HIP family in 2003 with my Shih Tzu "Gypsy Rose". We had the honor of making many lives better through care and compasion that only a therapy animal can make. HIP made that possible for us 2003-2013. Their only direction was helping people. Now Peggy Sue and I are trying to follow in Gypsy's footsteps.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hand in Paw has truly changed my life. My dog and I have volunteered with HIP in numerous capacities over the course of six years, from nursing home visits to adolescent youth homes. There is no better feeling than being a part of this organization. The animals and handlers go through a very lengthy evaluation process before becoming certified, and as a result the team of folks (2 and 4 legged!) in this nonprofit are the best there could be. They spread so much happiness to those who need it most, and I'm honored to be a part of Hand in Paw.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I first heard of Hand in Paw (HIP) at The Mutt Strutt and found my dogs and I could become volunteers. I became a TVA first while traning my dogs. I visit with a team at Childrens Hospital twice a month and also help with the No More Bullies program. I have seen the dogs do amazing things, they seem to know how to cheer up the patients and family. HIP is a great organization to be associated with.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of working with Hand In Paw as a board member for many years. I am in administration at Children's Of Alabama and can see the wonderful results of interaction between the animals, volunteers, pet partneers and the parents and staff. But most importantly the sheer joy of the moment that a child interacts with a animal is truly a miracle and the child, at least for a few moments, is taken into a different world not of medicine but of love, compasison, and understading that an animal can give to a child. Certainly dogs are the promary therapy animals but I am always impressed when a cat, rabbit, or a goat can bond with a child to provide a moment of respite.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first year with Hand in Paw as a volunteer and therapy team member with my dog, Maylee! I can honestly say that while this has been a long term goal of mine, my experience has far exceeded any expectations I had (and they were high)! The guidance we are given through every step of the program is exceptional and the compassion and caring is evident in all aspects of this organization. With every visit we make, I come away feeling we made a positive difference not only in someone's life, but in our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My therapy dog Molly, a Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix, and I visit the cancer floor at Children's Hospital twice a month as part of the Sit, Stay, Read program. This program allows children who are in the hospital for an extended time to practice and hone their reading skills by reading books to a Hand in Paw dog. Usually the children come out to the common area and we sit on the floor to read books to Molly. When the children are too small to read then we read books to them while Molly lies next to them. If a child is confined to their bed then we visit the individual room and the child reads as Molly lies on the floor next to the bed. Once in a while a child is too sick and doesn’t feel like reading so they just pet and hug Molly and forget their troubles for a few minutes. We are so happy to bring some joy to these children who are going through so much and at the same time help them keep up with their reading skills so they will not be behind when they go home and back to school.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Hand in Paw (HIP) a through a friend. After researching HIP I was excited to find out all the ways the contribute to our community. It has been a pleasure being involved with HIP.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hand in Paw for about a year and a half. During that time I have seen so many wonderful things happen through Hand in Paw. Things ranging from children with special needs walking on their own for the first time to "walk" a dog, to a person in a nursing home smiling for the first time in weeks due to a visit from a Hand in Paw Therapy Team. There are countless stories that could be told about the difference that this organizations makes in the lives of so many people. Hand in Paw is so very special!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my tenth year as a pet partner with Hand In Paw. My golden retriever, Susie and I are currently working with "at risk" youth boys in a structured 12 week program called Pawsitive Living. Each week a topic is led by a facilitator to help teach the boys important concepts such as handling anger, empathy, accepting others with differences, etc. Each boy is paired with one dog and their handler. The dogs really are the "teachers" as they are used in different scenarios to teach the topic of the week. The boys really bond with the dogs, learn important concepts and get to experience the love and companionship of a dog. It is very rewarding for the boys as well as the pet partners and their dogs.
This is only one of the many ways Hand In Paw serves the community and is a positive experience for those involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for several years, now with my second dog. We have had so very many positive experiences. Just this week, a patient we were visiting for the second time in the hospital for cancer treatments, told us she knew coming back into the hospital she had something to look forward to -- seeing my sweet dog! These visits truly make a difference to our patients, the staff, and family. Such a blessing for me to get to participate in this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hand in Paw since about the year 2000 when I joined the board. I was sold when I heard how they help people with animals. However, the more I know the more impressed I am. In 2006 I joined the staff and have learned all of the inner workings of this great organization. You would think that maybe being that close would lessen my enthusiasm, not so; I AM EVEN MORE IMPRESSED. Just to know the inner workings and how many thousands of details help this organization to run like a well oiled machine is constantly impressive. I do LOVE my job. It is a joy to come to work with professionals who are highly intelligent and have so many creative ideas. It is never stale. And the volunteers are AMAZING how they tirelessly give of themselves over and over again. I am very blessed to be a part of this wonder organization.