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Paws and Think Volunteer

Volunteer Needs
Paws & Think always has a need for volunteers both with and without dogs.

Currently Paws & Think needs volunteers without dogs to act as Mentor/Coaches for our Youth-Canine program at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. This program pairs up incarcerated juveniles with shelter dogs from Indianapolis Animal Care Services for a week-long training program. The youth learn positive life skills and the dogs learn basic obedience skills that will help them get adopted. As a Mentor/Coach, you will assist the youth with training the shelter dog following the guidance of our Animal Behaviorist. No experience is required, but all volunteers must be 21 years or older and must complete a background check prior to volunteering. The program takes place for one week each month from 3:15p-5:15p Tuesday through Friday, and we prefer volunteers who can come for all 4 days to provide consistency and stability for the youth and the dogs.

We also need volunteers without dogs to help with evening care for the dogs participating in our Youth-Canine program at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. These shelter dogs stay at the detention center during the week of the program, and volunteers are needed to help walk, feed, and play with the dogs in the evenings after their training class. This is a great opportunity for dog lovers, as your main responsibility is to give love and affection to these dogs! Volunteers for this program must be at least 21 years old and must complete a background check prior to volunteering. Email Kim Trimpe atkimberlytrimpe@att.net if you are interested in volunteering with our Youth-Canine program.

If you think your dog may be a good fit to become a therapy dog who can volunteer along with you, please visit the Pet Therapy Training page on our website to learn more about how to register with your dog as a volunteer therapy team. Our registered therapy teams visit at our partner venues in Central Indiana to provide comfort and support to those who need it most in our community. Our venue partners include libraries, schools, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, and many more! We also offer specialized training for our registered therapy teams for our Paws to Comfort crisis response program, our Paws to Read program (where kids practice reading to therapy dogs), and our Paws to Heal program (where therapy dogs visit with hospital staff, patients, and their families).
We also have a need for volunteers to give their time without their dog by assisting with our Pet Therapy training classes. Our Pet Therapy training classes are Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and volunteers help prospective therapy dogs and their handlers practice the skills they need to become registered therapy teams with our organization. This is a great volunteer opportunity for dog lovers and for anyone interested in learning more about dog training or pet therapy. No experience is required, and school-age children can also volunteer along with a chaperone. We require a background check or a signed waiver prior to volunteering. To learn more about this opportunity, visit our Training Class Volunteer page or email Kathy Janes at kjanes@pawsandthink.org.

To learn more about our organization and ways you can get involved, we encourage you to attend one of our Volunteer Orientation/Info Sessions and check out our online calendar and Facebook page for upcoming events.

About Paws and Think Inc.

Paws & Think is a non-profit organization focusing on the at-risk community, both human and canine. Our vision is to  create a community where “every person who would benefit from a dog has the opportunity, and every dog fulfills its potential.” We do this with two proven methods: one of training and providing therapy dogs for both animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapies to youth, seniors and special needs individuals of all ages. The second method is our Youth–Canine Programs that facilitate classes for at-risk youth and teens, helping them to train shelter dogs with positive reinforcement behaviors. The young people learn responsibility, job readiness, anger management, parenting skills, leadership and positive life skills, while at the same time increasing the dog’s chances of adoption because of the basic obedience skills learned. Pride and confidence are found as a result of both aspects of our vision.

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