Comfort Creatures of Northeast Mississippi has slots for 10 new pets to join its voluntary program, but their owners obviously must go along for the ride.
After a five-week training course, which starts April 7, pet-owner teams will be dispatched to facilities requesting fuzzy assistance. Current teams visit nursing homes, hospice homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and libraries.
Both cats and dogs are welcome.
"The R.E.A.D. program is getting huge," said Comfort Creatures President Tricia Goldman. "Those dogs go into schools and let the children read to the dog, and it's not as intimidating for children who don't read very well. We're in four local schools now, and others are just begging us to come."
But with 21 dogs and one cat on its roster, the agency currently lacks resources to expand into new facilities. It needs at least 10 more animals to meet the growing demand.
All animals must be at least one year of age, lived with you at least nine months, know basic obedient skills, must have no history of aggression, be current on all shots, and the handler must be 16 years of age or older.
The training course costs $50, which includes a manual for the national accreditation group, Delta Society. An additional $75 must be paid to Delta Society upon passing the evaluation.
At a glance
- For more information about Comfort Creatures of Northeast Mississippi, call President Tricia Goldman at (662) 791-1982 or visit www.comfortcreatures.org.