Fall 2010 - Hand in Paw



Fall 2010 - Hand in Paw
Fall/Winter 2010
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Make checks payable to “Hand in Paw”
Mail to Paige Hardee at Hand in Paw at 1912 14th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205
Mariela Piola was awarded the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association’s Layperson of the Year, 2010 for
outstanding contributions to the advancement of the veterinary profession and the association!
Walmart Grant Helps Hand in Paw Grow
A recent grant from Walmart is assisting Hand in Paw in
reaching new populations. The
$50,000 grant was awarded
through the Walmart Foundation’s
State Giving Program. The money
is being used to expand Hand in
Paw’s Petscription program.
The Amelia Center and St. Anne’s
Home are the two newest facilities
that are being visited. These facilities
are unique, because they reach new
populations for Hand in Paw.
The Petscription program offers
a positive distraction from pain and
worry for patients in hospitals and
motivation for meeting therapeutic
goals in rehabilitation units and
early intervention programs.
The State Giving Program uses
grants to support organizations
that have missions similar to that
of the Walmart Foundation, to help
people live better. The grants start
at $25,000 and are awarded to
nonprofit organizations offering
their services to a particular state
or region.
Figure from left to right: Clay Jones, Board Member; Liz
Wilson, Programs Director; Kitty Terry, Executive Director
of HIP; Terri Jones and Katie, HIP Pet Partner Team; Keith
Owsley, Market Human Resource Manager; and David
Johnson, Market Manager
The Walmart Foundation focuses on four areas: Education,
Workforce Development/Economic Opportunity, Health and
Wellness, and Environmental Sustainability. Programs that do not
concentrate on these areas are still considered for the grant.
1912 14th Ave S
Birmingham, AL 35205
Teams and host continuing education and appreciation events for
existing volunteers.
Hand in Paw is utilizing the money received from the grant to
expand the Petscription program to serve four new community
partners in the Birmingham area. The funds will also allow
Hand in Paw to recruit and train new Animal-Assisted Therapy
The Amelia Center is a nonprofit
organization that offers grief
counseling and support to “children
and teens who have experienced a
death, or to adults who have
experienced the death of a child.” It
is a part of Children’s Health System.
The Center provides group and
individual counseling, as well as
training and education in grief
counseling. Hand in Paw’s therapy
visits began in November.
St. Anne’s Home is a certified
Residential Rehabilitation Program.
They offer substance abuse treatment to women as the next step
after detox. There are 18 women who stay at St. Anne’s Home.
The first therapy visit was made in August, and Therapy Teams will
continue to make regular visits.
The fall appreciation event for volunteers took place
November 15th. Hand in Paw will recruit and train more
volunteers to continue their positive impact on the community.
With more than 60 facilities awaiting services, Hand in Paw is
looking to begin serving at least two more sites by spring 2011.
Our New Look
The Golden Scarf
The Hand in Paw Pet Partner scarf is the most recognizable symbol of our
Therapy Teams. From now on, that powerful symbol will be embedded in our
logo to become the icon of our organization. With hearts of gold, our
volunteers selflessly visit clients in hospitals and organizations around the city, donating their time and energy to help others.
Because they care about helping others.
With their help, Hand in Paw sets the gold standard for animal-assisted therapy.
The golden-yellow color is highly visible and translates well onto T-shirts and golf shirts for our volunteers with the logo embroidered
on the upper left chest. The bright color is symbolic of motivation and cheery enough to lighten the mood of any room. All therapy
animals will wear the golden scarves. Anyone within sight of the color will think “Here comes a Hand in Paw team!”
Hand in Paw • 1912 14th Ave S • Birmingham, AL 35205 • 205.322.5144 • www.handinpaw.org
Board of Directors
Scott Grover
Matt Lackey
Clay Jones, CPA
Immediate Past
Jim Cunningham, CPA
T.C. Branch, DVM
Cindy Grant, DVM
Josh Klapow, PhD
Joy O’Neal
Doug Rohm
Lynnette Sefcik, CPA
Lisa Thompson
Tina Willard
Sheree York, PT, MS, PCS
Advisory Council
Ken Jackson
Alvin Atlas, DVM
Kelly Bownes
Jennifer Buettner
Tim Colbert, DVM
Elizabeth Cornay
Steve Dunlap
Merrimon Epps, III
Beth Franklin
Stephanie Hightower
Susanne Jones
Sheryl Kimerling
Anne LaRussa
Jim Lasker, MD
Beth Leonard
Debra Linton, CPA
Sandy Logan
Phyllis McCombs
Judy Merritt, PhD
Allen Montgomery
Jeff Morrison
John Moser
James Myers
Susan Nelms, DVM
Kate Nicholson
Ingrid Oakley, CRNA,
Joan Pizitz
Salle Redfield
Lisa Smith
Joan Stelling
Carol Stewart
Sandra Storm
Ava Denise Story
Pete Van Pelt
Beverly Virciglio, CPA
Mary Wier
Jerome Williams, DVM
Executive Director
Kitty Terry
Director of Volunteers
Candice Armstrong
Executive Assistant
Lisa McNair
Program Director
Liz Wilson
Special Marketing &
Community Relations
Paige Hardee
Dave Fitts
Data Administration
Vicki Shay
Carol Speed
Kurt Fischer
Kelsi Lindemann
A Letter from Our Executive Director
A new season is upon us here at Hand in Paw. Not only are we finally pulling
out those woolen scarves and being chased down the sidewalk by orange and red
leaves, we are in the midst of a major website re-launch. Our new website,
coming to a computer near you December 1st, will be easier to navigate and much
more functional. We’re also updating the photographic and editorial content to
reflect the many significant changes our organization has undergone since the
original website was designed and built. We’ve even re-designed our logo to
embrace the wide variety of services HIP provides to the community!
Another transformation underway here at HIP involves our most precious
commodity, our volunteers. For months, we have been working on better serving
potential new volunteers by enhancing and restructuring HIP’s training and
evaluation program. The new and improved training program is slated to roll out in
January 2011.
Finally, although it’s not our most recent transition, we are still settling into our
new home in Southside. We so appreciate all the effort that went into securing this
beautiful space. If these walls could talk, they’d be bubbling over with joyful words of
thanks to everyone who made our move possible.
As we head into the holidays, we know that the season in which we find ourselves is
not only one of change, but also of many, many blessings!
Jennifer Tidmore for Boudreaux Will & Jim
Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Townsend Jr.
for Betty Fields Byars - Mrs. Colton
Byars Hawkins
WAKM Companies, LLC for Ms.
Eleanor Montgomery - John E.
Cathy Ward for Cedar - Pam
Riggs, Ninabell - Denise Presley
Misty Willimas for Bailey Bryan John & Lisa Bryan
Lynn Wilmoth for Babe
In Memory of Nixie & Sassie Lasker
Beth Franklin, Jim & Katie Lasker,
the Mafia, Andy & Mary Oschack and
friends at Davis Wholesale Florist, Dr.
& Mrs. George M. Perrine, Margot &
Gates Shaw, Joe & Kitty Terry
In Memory of Stella
Rene Nicole Byrd, Melonie Sturm
In Memory of Polo
Christina Currie, Michael & Betsy
Fleenor, Beth Franklin, Beth Fuller,
Hand in Paw Staff, Jacqueline
McFarland, Lisa McNair, James &
Nena Moon, Adam G. Quarles, Carol
Speed, Patti Stahlhut, Dr. Ingrid M.
Straeter-Knowlen, Joe & Kitty Terry
In Memory of Malachi
Christina Currie, Michael & Betsy Fleenor,
Beth Fuller, Phillis McCombs, Jacqueline
McFarland, Lisa McNair, James & Nena
Moon, Tom & Lynnette Sefcik, Carol
Speed, Patti Stahlhut, Joan Stelling
In Memory of Dusty
Cecilia L. Graham, Lisa McNair, Ellen
Susan Price, Laura K. Vogtle
In Memory of Susie Jackson
Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Jackson, Kendrick &
Edward Pascoe
In Memory of Alice Gumhead
Beth Franklin, Joan Stelling
In Memory of Roberta “Sissy” Toranto
Beth Fuller, Jacqueline McFarland, Lisa
McNair, James & Nena Moon, Patti Stahlhut
In Memory of Remy Jackson
Michael & Betsy Fleenor, Beth Franklin,
Judge Sandra Storm, Anne B. LaRussa,
Debra Linton, Phillis McCombs, Lisa McNair,
Joan Stelling, Carol Stewart, Beverly Virciglio
In Memory of Diva McNair
Christina Currie, Michael & Betsy Fleenor,
Beth Franklin, Beth Fuller, James & Nena
Moon, Tom & Lynnette Sefcik, Carol Speed,
Patti Stahlhut
In Memory of Libby Terry
Candice Armstrong, Alvin & Jill Atlas, David
Fitts, Beth Franklin, Courtney Lucas, Lisa
McNair, Tom & Lynnette Sefcik, Mary Sibille,
Carol Speed, Liz Wilson
In Memory of Okley
In Memory of Tucker & Zoe Layne
In Memory of Nora Piola
Alvin, Jill & Maddie Atlas, Mary Anne
Beth Fuller, James & Nena Moon
Mary Sale Calhoun, Lisa McNair
Frost, Sissy Toranto
• Correction from last issue: JoAnne Busby for Paul, Gregory & Katie Busby
Honor Gifts
Congratulations to our
newest Therapy Teams &
Jackie Jackson & Butterscotch
Lynn Pohlman & Gruber
Jaime Laird & Ryder
Holli Hargrove & Naomi
Janice Clifford & Dusty
Sophia Giattina & Ca-Tee
Adam Quarles & Tok
Carol Standifer & Daisy
Ruth Locklin & Detail
Joy O’Neal & Abby
Joy O’Neal & Glory
Missy Cox & Abby
Missy Cox & Glory
Ingrid Straeter & Ca-Tee
Carol Baker
Susie Gilbreath
Chelsea Standifer
Chad Ritter
Sandra Ritter
A big thank you and best wishes to
recently retired Therapy Teams:
•Jan Hitchcock & Boudreaux
•Kim Preskitt & Bella
•Jill Atlas & Maddie
•Cindy Grant & Tucker
•Cindy Grant & Harry
•Lynn Sampson-Stephens & Gabe
We extend our deepest sympathies in
the losses of:
•Jennifer Boswell’s Sakeri
•Beth Franklin’s Malachi
•Mariela Piola’s Polo
•Lisa McNair’s Diva
•Christos Psarras’s Isabella
Thank you to Zoës Kitchen
for donating the food for the
volunteer Mix & Mingle
Robert & Brooke Battle for Dr.
Josh Klapow
Lisa Rowell Bramer for the Layne
Jennifer Buettner for Jane
Joy Clark & Lee Cooper for Eric
Egea, Dr. Gorman Jones
Susan Crow for Camille &
Merrimon Epps - from Howie
Judi Cureton for Cary Hailey
Judy Kay Dawson for Kathleen
Mary C. Ferguson for Mrs. Meg
Roughen, Mrs. Dawn Turnbull, Mrs.
Amy Cobb, Mrs. Caroline Woods,
Mrs. Anne Liles, Mrs. Casey Moore,
Mrs. Bethy Allen, Mrs. Marchelle
Falkner, Mrs. Hill Weathers, Mrs.
Bonnie Pounds, Mrs. Liz Kerr, Mrs.
Sarah Kathryn Tarter, Mrs. Emily
Samford, Miss Evalouise Hydinger,
Mrs. Melanie Pounds,
Mrs. Effie Thompson, Mrs. Melissa
Roden, Mrs. Merrit Miller, Mrs.
Kaylea Hill, Mrs. Katie Currie, Mrs.
Kelley Norwood
Mary C. Ferguson for Mrs. Burgin
Franks, Mrs. Ginny Pylant, Miss Emily
Lisa Finch for Karen Entrekin
Marzette Fisher for Jay &
Courtney Pigford
Clay Harkins for Hannah & the
Williams Family, Zeuss & the Hyde Family,
Jack & Susie and the Baynes Family
Jim & Katie Lasker for Nixie &
Lewis, Feldman & Lehane, L.L.C.
for Jason Coleman
Cynthia Mayo for Eye of the
McDonald Canine Academy, Aron
McDonald for Riverview Animal Hospital, A
Dollars for Dog’s Sponsor
Jacqueline McFarland for Carol
Susan R. Moon for Elesabeth R.
Shook, Annie Primos - William & Mary
Judi Morris for All Bell Center
Therapy Teams, Past & Present
Ellen Susan Price for Moses
Adam G. Quarles for Abby &
Rosie Fuller - Beth Fuller
Tracye Roberts for Liberty Animal
Hospital - Dr. Williams & Friends of Tron
Shelly Shook for Sophie - Beth
Thomas, Socks - Betty Wall, Max - Jay
& Kathy Powell
Catherine Smith for Ruth Sanders
Jerry & Jane Smith for Preston
Colangelo & Kosmo
David & Bonnie Stimpson for
Buck Fitz-Gerald, Sceeter Stimpson &
Scooter Stimpson
Del Rae Walsh for Chloe
Carolyn Wood for Dr. Kay
Knowlton & Barbara Lee
In Honor of Nathan Watson’s
Birthday Party
Steven Ammons, Bruce Long, Raghavan
Raju, Michael Tuggle, Nathan Watson
In Honor of Jim & Katie Lasker
Dr. Alton & Mary Baker,
Dr. & Mrs. George M. Perrine
In Honor & Memory of Nixie & Sassie
Jim & Katie Lasker
In-Kind Donors
amsource • Ashley Mac’s • Barber Companies • Flex Digital/Mail Sort • Frank Fleming • Metro Truck Rentals
Mitchell Wayne Technologies • See It Productions
The Jessica Society
Since Jessica was Hand in Paw’s first therapy dog, it is fitting that the vehicle for leaving a
legacy to Hand in Paw is named in her memory. The Jessica Society was established in 2007 to
acknowledge those who generously make planned gifts to benefit the organization. These
donors and their gifts are honored and acknowledged through this Society that showcases
special support for Hand in Paw’s growth.
Planned gifts provide an opportunity to realize your personal financial goals while
strengthening the work of Hand in Paw for the future. You might be able to increase your
current income, or provide additional retirement income, while reducing income and estate
taxes. There are a number of options for planned gifts through charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts,
charitable lead trusts, life insurance, retirement plans and will bequests.
Currently, the Jessica Society is composed of those who have made provisions in their wills to give to Hand in Paw’s
programs. Members include: Bob & Karen Smith, Beth Franklin, Greg and Tay Gardner and Dorothy Dennett.
Please consider incorporating a charitable gift to Hand in Paw into your financial planning or estate, or if you have
already named the organization in your will, contact HIP at (205) 322-5144 ext. 152 for options to discuss with your
financial advisor.
Those who make a planned gift to sustain the vital work of our Therapy Teams into the future are treasured friends.
~ Beth Franklin
Paw Contributions
May - October 2010
Memorial Gifts
Tom, Cathy & Jenny Adams for
Molly Louise McKenna - Bob McKenna
Animal Rehab & Fitness Center
for Mitch - the Kok Family,
Aristotle - Heather Sobko & James
Schars, Bullet - Laura Stronach,
Buddy - the Byrd Family
Alvin & Jill Atlas for Max - Lynn Sampson
Dianne Baer for Fore - the Wilson Family
Mark Beddingfield for Cash - Susan
Maria Bergman for Cleo - Mia Bergman
Lee Binion for BO - Tracy Peoples
Lisa Burton for Jick - the Anderson Family
Mary Sale Calhoun for Hilda Kent Dr. Warren Kent
Catherine Danielou for Roxy & Moses Sara Bodiford
Susan Darby for Velvet, a Special Cat Dorothy Willingham
Jennifer M. Dexter for Birmingham Police
K-9 Camo McGhee - Officer Rick
McGhee & Family
Isabelle Dreher for Major Bashinsky Leslie, Nelle & Holt Bashinsky
Jim & Donna Dunnam for Mr. & Mrs.
James M. Jordan, Gwen Jordan - Harry
Jordan & Marilyn Newson
Fran Fields for Sydney - the Dunns
Grace Finkel for Middleton
Sara Finley for Mitzi - Maude Collier
Beth Franklin for Foxie - Dinah Toro, Carly Andrei & Anne Alexandrov, Maxwell
Mike & Mary Anne Freeman for Ike - The
Sewell/Bowman Families, Mr. Sewell Lisa, Chris & Will Bowman, Maddie - Keith
Cromwell, Willow Cromwell - Keith
Beth Fuller for Dior Piola
Louise & J. Sharp Gillespy, IV for
Pippin Beard - Mr. & Mrs. Pat Beard
Duke, Lisa & Joy Hardin for Summer, A Very
Loving Yellow Lab - Linda Wilson, Joan
Don & Gayle Hawkins for Doris
Hipp- Jean Hipp
Nicholas & Amy Hill for Connor
Shepard Camp - Ms. Valarie Camp
Lee Hilliard for Dana - Bob & Kim
Whelan, Puppy - Elbert & Claire Hillard
Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Kimerling
for Rufus - Will Donaldson & Steve
Holmes, Luke - Wayne, Kathy & Alex Hoar
Mildred Knight for Cowboy - Mr. & Mrs. Ben
Fred Major for Bear & Rudy - ReneByrd
Linda Maloy for Bear-Bear & Sophie Maloy
Vicki Martin for Waldo Maze - Bill Maze
Kristen McCorkel for Ella - Kristen Ramsey
Jacqueline McFarland for Frank
Larussa - Mrs. Frank Larussa
Peggy Mckie for Sugar Massey
- Dale & Ann Massey
Richard & Linda Moon for Gracie Bethany Glenn
Kim Munroe for Gracie Murray Denise Murray
Larry & Joan Norred for Moto Elliot Julie Elliott
Sandy & Donna Parker for Shelby, their
Golden Retriver
Mr. & Mrs. R.G. Parsons for
Tessie Girl Cochran - Mr. & Mrs. Gary
Cochran, Kayla Rains - Mr. & Mrs.
Andrew Rains and Kyle
Shannon L. Perkins for Nancy J. Tandy
M. Petrofsky for Mitzi Kamin/Kramer Mr. & Mrs. Gary Kramer & Dr. & Mrs.
Brian Kulbersh
Martha Pezrow for Kiwi
Ray Price & the Rodney Sanders
Family for Allen & Joan Price - Mrs. Jim
Carter & Family
Ellen Rhett for Pugsley Bromberg - Nancy &
Ricky Bromberg
Jodie O. Scofield for Avery Ann Hildreth
Adriane M. Smith for Beau - Doug Baucom
Jerry & Sarah Morgan Snead for Dr. Phillip
Cornwell - Annie
David & Kimberly Stearns for Maggie Susan Tambrello
David & Bonnie Stimpson for Buck
The McGradys for Mollie - the Reaves
All in the Family
Hand in Paw Therapy Teams
Those of us who work as Pet Partners undoubtedly think
of our pets as family members. Did you know that there are
many Hand in Paw Therapy Teams that include human as
well as animal members of the same family?
Husband and wife team Tom and Lynnette Sefcik were
first united with
Pet Partner Trina
through a
disaster Hurricane Katrina!
Dear friends in
Slidell, Louisiana
called the Sefciks
after Trina showed
up in their
Trina with Acorn and Cookie Dough
Tom and Lynnette eventually registered Trina as a therapy
dog, along with their two rabbits Acorn and Cookie Dough.
Although both bunnies have now passed, as you can
imagine, this “family affair” delighted many a patient.
Prompted by an email from HIP, adoptee Kodi joined the
team in 2010. This unique family stays busy at the
Exceptional Foundation, Pawsitive Living™, Children’s
Hospital (where Acorn was a regular), UAB and other
community outreach events.
Another husband and wife reaching out with their canine
family are Lee and Trudy Stricklin and their Shelties Glory
and Cooper. Lee, Trudy and their pups visit regularly at HallKent Elementary School, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
and Children’s 4 Tower. As Trudy explains it, “We love
sharing our dogs...it is always a blessing to watch them
make people feel good -- and they always do!”
The third family Therapy Team in the spotlight is a mother
and daughter. Melannie Layne and daughter Hannah work
with Mike, a deaf Australian Shepherd. (The Laynes have
five dogs: Mike, a 13-year-old bilaterally deaf Aussie; Max,
a nine-year-old Aussie who is also bilaterally deaf; a six-yearold Dachshund, Trevor, who is blind in one eye; Maddie, a
four-year-old Dachshund who is bilaterally deaf and has only
one eye that developed; and Ellie Moe, a Corgi who is oneyear-old and bilaterally deaf and blind in one eye.)
Currently a high school senior, Hannah began
volunteering with mom, Melannie, when she was six-anda-half and is the recipient of Hand in Paw’s 2004 Youth
Award. Hannah was also featured in the spring, 2008 Delta
Interactions article, “Delta’s Shining Stars,” which recognized
youth Pet Partners in the United States. Melannie is not only a
HIP evaluator, but an invaluable motivator in the Picasso Pets
painting sessions. Hannah, who has a wonderful ability with
animals and understands their body language, also helps
with Picasso Pets. “I love to watch Hannah give of herself,
that makes my heart smile,” says Melannie. “That’s why
we’re created, to give to others to make them happy.”
Other family teams
making people happy
are Roger and Patty
Berkow (Boomer and
Foster); The Bruno
Family: Mary Beth
(Princess and Kailey),
Joseph (Princess) and
Annemarie (TVA); John
and Elaine Broussard
Kodi and Trina
(Jessie); Joy Dorn (Izzy
and Dixie) and daughter Betsy (Izzy); Ingrid Straeter and
daughter Sophia Giatinna (Ca-Tee); Jim and Minette Moreno
(Godiva); and Greg and Rosemary Greaves, Therapy Visit
These Hand in Paw family Therapy Teams and Therapy
Visit Assistants have given of themselves to make many
children and adults happy in situations where “happy” is in
short supply. Lynnette Sefcik recounts one such
incident: “I was asking Trina to roll over for a little boy, but
she was lying too close to his bed and kept getting stuck on
the bed leg. The little boy kept laughing and
laughing. When I apologized for making such a scene, his
mom started crying and said, ‘That was the first time he’s
laughed in two months!’”
~Sandra Gillis and Beth Bradley
Hand in Paw is pleased to announce the hiring of Paige Hardee as head of Special
Marketing & Community Relations. Paige will plan and secure media, marketing, and
community relations support for events and the organization’s mission. This also
includes coordinating outreach events and Hand in Paw’s major fundraisers.
Paige holds a B.S. in Marketing Management and a concentration in Special Events
from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), where she
graduated with honors in 2009.
Vicki Shay is back at Hand in Paw! She is currently entering data and helping with
donor software. Vicki has worked previously for Hand in Paw from 2003 through the fall
of 2009 when she left to pursue a different line of work but never stopped being a
supporter and friend to our organization.
Extending a Friendly Paw
Margie Little & Simon
Margie has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood
Education and taught elementary school for 30 years. She
retired four years ago. She and her husband have been
married for almost 35 years and have two children. Simon is
a two-year-old Labradoodle. Margie says that because of his
curly coat he is often mistaken for a Standard Poodle, and he is
usually a great conversation starter.
Where did you get Simon? Simon is a product of “the
empty nest.” We got him shortly after my son went off to
college and took the family pet with him. We had known for a
while that we wanted our next dog to be a Labradoodle. We
searched the shelters and humane society, but to no avail. So
we did the only thing left to do, we turned to the classifieds! We
called about him one morning and had him that night!
How long have you been a HIP volunteer? Not quite a
year. Simon turned one last September, which was just in time
to get into the fall ‘09 class. We were registered in February ‘10
and started visiting in March.
Which facilities do you visit? We started out doing Sit,
Stay, Read! at Hall-Kent Elementary and nursing home visits at
Kirkwood by the River. We’ve recently added weekly visits to
UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and monthly visits to St.
Anne’s Home.
Why did you think Simon would make a good
therapy dog? As a puppy, we noticed that he was very gentle
and friendly. Also, people were naturally interested in him and
migrated toward him. When someone touched him, the first
thing they said was, “He feels so soft”, or “ He feels good.” He
was a pet that I felt had something to share.
Whether you are sending cards to family, friends,
neighbors, clients or co-workers this holiday
season, choose cards that allow you to give a little
more. With Hand in Paw’s holiday cards you can
give twice. You can even leave the work to us. It’s
simple! Send us your list of names and addresses
with your donation and we will hand address and
send a beautiful holiday card to them all. Your gift
will be recognized in our publications as an
indication of our sincere appreciation for your
generosity and your ongoing support for
Hand in Paw.
For order information contact Paige at
[email protected]
Being a relatively new
Pet Partner Team, has
your experience with HIP
been what you
expected? I could not have
imagined the impact that HIP
would have on my life. I’m
like most HIP volunteers, I
don’t think of this in terms of
doing anything special. We’re
simply providing a service. It’s
something I do because I feel
there’s something special about my pet and want to share him.
I often leave a visit and feel that I am the one that was blessed
that day. If Simon and I give a small portion of what we receive,
then our mission is accomplished!
Have you had a visit that has been particularly
memorable for you? I take at least one memory away from
every visit. It might be a story, a smile, or simply a thank you,
but I’ll always remember my first “touched my heart” moment.
Shortly after we began visiting, we were leaving the nursing
home when something told me to knock on one more door. As
we entered the room, the first words out of the woman’s mouth
were, “I buried my husband yesterday.” While I was expressing
my condolences, my mind was racing and I was thinking, “What
do I do?” My next thought was, “You were trained for this, turn
it over to the dog!” During our visit we found out that her
husband had been a big dog lover. Our whole conversation
was about him and his dogs. She shared stories and showed us
several paintings of them. As I left her room I knew that she was
the reason we were supposed to be there that day. Little did I
know, that was the first of many times to have that feeling.
Hand in Paw, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing
animal-assisted therapy to thousands of individuals in the
greater Birmingham, Alabama, area, was my first Level
II fieldwork. This group uses volunteer handler-animal
therapy teams, including dogs, cats and horses, to deliver
therapy covering many different occupations, including
activities of daily living, education, play, leisure, social
participation and more.
Hand in Paw offers three basic
programs: Petscription; Sit, Stay,
Read!; and Pawsitive Living™.
The first, Petscription, addresses
clients receiving medical,
psychiatric, rehabilitative, and
social support services and
provides (1) animal-assisted
activities (AAA) to provide
encouragement to clients and
distract them from pain and (2)
animal-assisted therapy as part
of an individual’s specific
treatment. Among other things, Petscription has been
used to promote social participation among elderly
patients in a center for psychiatric medicine, motivate
clients to improve dynamic standing balance in a
rehabilitation setting, strengthen a child’s hemiparetic
upper extremity during constraint-induced movement
therapy, and motivate a child to participate in an
early-intervention session.
Sit, Stay, Read! gives children who have difficulty or just
a dislike of reading the chance to read aloud to a nonjudgmental audience - a Hand in Paw animal. With this
program, I saw children who were excited and happy to
read because it meant reading to an animal and getting
to pet it. It follows the concept of “change the context,
change the occupation,” and helped children develop
reading skills needed for school because they were
presented with a just-right challenge. The children also
seemed to develop confidence in their newfound skills and
became more willing to speak out in class.
Pawsitive Living™ is a 12-week program delivered at
various group homes within the community, including
behavioral health group homes, an autism and
behavioral health center, and a homeless shelter for
women and children, that uses animals to help youth
better understand compassion, stereotypes, labeling,
emotions, expressing emotion appropriately, awareness
of others and dealing with difficult situations. Designed
to reduce violence and teach skills needed by youth to
be better members of the community and of a family, the
program uses therapy animals as a motivator and bridge
between the class facilitator, volunteers and participants.
In my fieldwork through this program, I helped bring
an occupational therapy perspective to an organization
that already had a significant community impact. I was
able to contribute to making occupational therapy widely
recognized by using my occupational therapy training to
evaluate and make recommendations for programs and
outcome measures at an advisory board meeting and a
committee board meeting. My
work for Hand in Paw included
helping them establish more
science-driven and evidencebased programs and establish
methods to better measure
For example, using Doll’s text
on program evaluation,
Hand in Paw’s programs were
reviewed and reported in the
following areas: participatory
evaluation, process evaluation,
outcomes evaluation and
comparative evaluation. Hand in Paw plans to use this
information when planning future volunteer and facility
training and justifying funding needs to grantors, and the
group also plans to implement outcome measures
recommended to provide evidence for effectiveness of
As a student about to embark on my journey as an
occupational therapist, the lessons I learned about the
value of meaningful occupations, the need for
establishing measurable outcomes, the process of
evaluating programs from an occupational therapy
perspective and collaborating with members of the
community have been invaluable. All aspects of our
profession were addressed in the fieldwork setting. In
addition, I obtained a broader understanding of
management and organizations, the grant writing
process, various service delivery routes and the main roles
an occupational therapist can have. It is my hope that
more students will be able to complete similar fieldwork,
thus building a stronger bridge between occupational
therapy practitioners and the communities we serve.
~ Rachel Ashcraft
Rachel is a third-year occupational therapy student at the
University of Alabama in Birmingham. She interned with Hand
in Paw in the summer of 2010. This article was featured in the
OT Practice magazine, which covers professional information on
all aspects of occupational therapy practice today.
Reference: 1 Doll, J. (2010). Program development and grant writing in
occupational therapy: Making the connection. Subbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett
We would like to thank all of our grantors
for funding our programs.
•Harry B. and Jane H. Brock Foundation
•Daniel Foundation of Alabama
•Hill Crest Foundation
•Nelson and Charleen Kemp Foundation
Sit, Stay, Read at VHEC
For a group of 4th and 5th graders, Josie gives new
meaning to the idea of “school friend” as she begins
her third school year at Vestavia Hills Elementary School
Central. Josie, a furry black Shih-Tzu, and her owner,
Hand in Paw volunteer Sandra Gillis, transform Tuesday
afternoons into weekly high points for selected Central
students. Students make their way to the Media Center
for their appointed time to read aloud to Josie, who
enthusiastically takes her place alongside or in the arms
of her reader.
Josie, a trained therapy dog in Hand in Paw’s Sit, Stay,
Read! program, is all about modeling good
character for Central students. With her attentive
listening, Josie sends messages of unconditional
acceptance and friendship to her young readers.
Josie’s and Sandra’s dependability teaches our students
lessons about commitment and reliability. Sandra’s
warm conversations with the student readers
demonstrate her genuine interest in their well-being,
affirming their growing sense of self-confidence.
As students individually engage in reading to their furry
friend, it is Josie who is giving the treats. Josie’s
wagging tail signals her readers that she is happy to be
back at their school, ready to snuggle up with a friend
and a good book.
-Story from Vestavia Hills Community News
Mark your
Mutt Strut will
take place
April 16, 2011
Railroad Park
Hand in Paw has moved! We are now located
at 1912 14th Ave S. Our new home is
registered with the Jefferson County Historical
Commission. We are all very excited to be at
our new HIP location!
Pawsitive Living™ & Alabama
Youth Homes Team Up
In September 2010, Hand in Paw began a
partnership to deliver our Pawsitive Living™ program
to residents of Alabama Youth Homes. This expands
the reaches of the program into Shelby County and
marks the first time Hand in Paw has partnered with
Alabama Youth Homes. Facilitated by Sonia Crist,
PhD, a group of eight Hand in Paw volunteers and
their therapy animals are working with eight high
school-age males ages 14-18. Because the group
home is in the Sterrett/Westover area, many of the
volunteers are traveling quite a distance to take part.
Alabama Youth Homes was founded in 1990 and
currently has six group homes housing youth ages
11-18 who are victims of abuse and neglect.
Thank You Children’s Trust Fund
Hand in Paw staff, along with Pet Partners Karen
Cunningham and Rusty, took part in a media
event to thank the Alabama Department of Child
Abuse and Neglect Prevention (The Children’s
Trust Fund) for its support. The Children’s Trust
Fund has given grants for our Pawsitive Living™
program for more than ten years, allowing
Hand in Paw to strengthen and expand this
innovative character building program.
“When Hand in Paw is there, the boys at Alabama
Youth Homes send out a relaxed and upbeat feeling.
The Hand in Paw environment is so inviting that they
have been participating willingly in discussions and
also sharing their feelings and ideas.”
-Karen Cunningham and Rusty, Pet Partners
“It’s hard to believe how quickly we have developed
such an open environment for sharing. We are all
so impressed with the Alabama Youth Homes!! The
boys are ready and willing when we get there, and
the boys have great interaction among themselves,
which has also let us get to know them better.
Detail and I look forward to Tuesdays and the
special welcome we receive from the boys and staff
at the Alabama Youth Home. They make it a point
to greet each pet and handler. I think the pets have
served as wonderful ice breakers and have helped to
bring out each of the boys’ personalities so quickly.
We have a diverse group of dogs, and the
interaction with the kids has created great
participation, conversation and lots of laughter.”
-Ruth Locklin and Detail, Pet Partners
“The bond between the young men in the program
and the dogs and their handlers was immediate.
I’ve been with Hand in Paw since 2003 and have
experienced many well-run programs, but this has
been the most fulfilling program I have participated
in so far.”
-Cindy A. Grant, DVM, CCRP
Above: Liz Wilson, HIP Programs Director; Kitty
Terry, HIP Executive Director; Karen Cunningham
and Rusty, HIP Pet Partner Team at CTF’s media
“The Alabama Youth Homes is very appreciative
of Hand in Paw for providing the children and staff
a renewed insight on developing healthy
relationships, through animal therapy. We would
like to say thanks to everyone involved in
Hand in Paw, you all are truly making the world a
better place.”
- Charles Smith, Coordinator, AYH
and in Paw celebrated its 10th Annual Picasso Pets this year. The
summer was full of planning, fundraising events and most of all,
FUN! To kick off the Picasso Pets “season,” SoHIP, Hand in Paw’s
Young Patrons Council, hosted a fabulous Gallery Party exclusively
for Picasso Pets presenters, muses and sponsors. The party was held
Thursday, July 15th at the Arthur Price Gallery in Pepper Place. The
2010 pet paintings were displayed around the room for everyone to
admire. Parkside Café and Rojo helped carry the excitement through
the summer with weekly Paws on the Patio, an event where people
can socialize with their friends and pets and get their Picasso Pets
tickets early.
Picasso Pets Sponsors
Van Dog
Debra Linton & Beverly Virciglio
Dr. Jim & Katie Lasker
Flex Digital
Fox 6
HomeTown Mortgage
Karen & Jim Cunningham
Lamar Advertising
Magic 96.5
Mallie Ireland
Pepper Place
The George W. Barber, Jr. Foundation
The Good Shepherd Foundation
Thompson’s Frame Factory
Veterinary Eye Care
zeekee interactive
birthday theme accented the Cahaba Grand Conference Center entrance on Saturday, August
14th for this year’s Picasso Pets. Balloons are a must for a birthday bash, and thanks to Bama
Balloons there was no shortage. They even made a tiered birthday cake! The birthday fun
continued into the ballroom where Pet Partners mingled with guests and answered any questions
about the amazing work they do. Items for the silent and live auctions lined the room where guests
enjoyed an exciting evening dedicated to celebrating Hand in Paw and its incredible mission.
Hand in Paw would like to extend a big thank you to all who helped volunteer and attended the 10th
Annual Picasso Pets. Without such dedicated stewards like you, Hand in Paw wouldn’t be able to
carry out its mission.
Anne B. LaRussa
Baptist Health System, Inc.
BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama
Children’s Hospital of Alabama
Joan Stelling
John 3:16
Lisa Thompson
Maggie & Will Brooke
Phyllis McCombs
Riverview Animal Clinic
St. Vincent’s Health System
Standifer Animal Clinic
The Thompson Foundation
Vulcan Materials
Alabama Power
Balch & Bingham LLP
Brookwood Medical Center
Burr & Forman LLP
Joy & Emmet O’Neil
Sheryl & Jon Kimerling
America’s First Federal Credit Union
Animal Rehabilitation & Fitness Clinic
Beth & Edmund Seibels
Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors
Cobbs, Allen & Hall
Dr. Martin & Angie Jones
Elizabeth & Billy Cornay
Energen Corporation
Glenn Ireland
Holly & David Sibley
In Honor of Mallie Ireland & Katie Lasker
James Cantrell
Mayer Electric Supply Company
Melvin Upchurch
Mr. & Mrs. Benny LaRussa, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Peter VanPelt
Mr. Richard & Dr. Joan Pizitz
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Red Diamond, Inc.
Red Hills Realty
Regions Bank
Scout Branding
St. Martin’s-In-The-Pines
Veolia Environmental Services