On March 9th of 2021 RocDog was created as a Non-Profit 501 (c)(3) in the state of New York. The plan was simple. Create the Group and hope to find 3 Dogs that could be Certified as Therapy Dogs with their Handlers in the first 12 months. The plan was to support our community in any way we could. Then the dream was to hopefully grow the Group to 12 Certified Therapy Dogs and Handlers by the end of 24 months. Things have not gone to plan for RocDog. Our growth has been nothing short of amazing. In just 3 years RocDog has now grown to:

  • Over 200 Certified Therapy Dog Teams
  • Working in over 150 different places across Western New York
  • Making over 300 visits to facilities each and every month.

To become part of the RocDog does not require that you even have a Therapy Dog. Your desire to Serve in the Community is all it will take to get involved. Do you have a dog that you think could become a Therapy Dog? Contact us and we can help you evaluate your dog and assist you in finding the right training to prepare your dog for this wonderful work.

RocDog is currently involved with many different types of groups and facilities at this time, these include:

  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Court System of New York
  • Hospitals
  • Senior Care Facilities
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Libraries
  • Corporate Wellness Visits
  • Plus, individuals that just needing time with a Therapy Dog

Contact us today to see how you can get involved or get a visit.

The Plan

Family:

RocDog’s goal from the beginning was to be different. We use the term Family to define our Volunteers. A Non-Profit is only as good as it’s Volunteers. At RocDog we have the BEST Volunteer’s in the World. Together we are serving in our Communities.

Therapy Dogs offer a fantastic avenue to be able to bring people together from just about any background. The hope is that this group of people and dogs will come together to support each other as they serve.

The first thing they plan to do is get people with dogs that have completed Therapy Dog training to get themselves and their Dogs certified. They will then work to create Teams to begin to go out into the Community.

Training will be an important part of working with the Volunteers and dogs. Handlers and Volunteers need to understand that they are truly a big part of the Therapy effort. Words and actions can give great comfort. Many times, a Therapy Dog breaks the barrier within a session. The Handler and Volunteer can then spend time just communicating in conversation. Therapy Dogs know that many people they serve feel isolated and lonely. As Team members become trained and certified, they will begin to move out into the Community serving at different locations. More experienced Teams may find themselves in more challenging places to serve. As the Family of Volunteers grow, there will be lots of different jobs that Volunteers can fulfill that will become visible in the Community. Paul and Sue Anthony believe that Therapy Dogs and Handlers/Teams will have a positive impact on the local Community.

Community:

The goal of using the term Community is to direct RocDog services in several directions. Their desire is to help work through the disconnection of Law Enforcement and the community. Law Enforcement needs community support. As those relationships build, RocDog Non-Profit will assist in building bridges and mending broken relationships from the past.

They also see themselves working with different groups and businesses in the Community. For example:  Hospitals, Schools, Transitional Living Homes, Shelters, Nursing Homes, businesses, and any groups that could use the services.

Another possibility is to be able to provide special Dogs to people as a Therapy Dog or Service Dog. The process can be hard. First, they must find the right Dog as a puppy and spend time training the dog for this service. Then finding a match with someone in need. It will take special staff to implement this type of program. Also, another area to explore is the training of service dogs for people that have special needs. They understand that this is an idea that is down the road. These services will require highly trained people to work with these dogs and help placement with people. The list of people that can benefit from these types of dogs is long. For example: veterans that have come home with PTSD’s.

World:

WORLD is the term we use to describe our focus to the special things we want to do in the World beyond our regular Therapy Dog visits. Currently we have defined 2 special projects to focus our efforts on. These are:

Frist is our “PAWS for Hearts Project” to help Special Needs families get and train their own dog to be a Therapy / Support dog for their home.

Steps are:

  1. Rescuing Dogs.
  2. Educate families.
  3. Training families and dogs.
  4. Place these Therapy / Support Dogs into their new homes.

We have built a core group of Therapy Dog Teams to support all of these efforts in our Communities across Western New York.

Second is our “Critical Incident Support Team”. This group of special Handlers and Dogs are trained to support times of Trauma and Special need in our communities. Many hours of additional Training and practical experience is required for all of these Teams.

Several of our Teams do advanced work with multiple Psychiatric Facilities in and around Rochester, New York. This time is viewed as training for our Teams due to the nature of these patients being in the middle of some form of traumatic event in their lives. While we see this as training, it is much more. Our Handlers and Dogs are making an impact with these patients on their road to recovery.

Our Mission:

Therapy: RocDog was founded to provide quality Therapy Dog Services to as many Facilities and People as possible within our Communities.

Rescue: Provide services to Rescue and Foster dogs that can be trained to become Therapy/Support Dogs to support our Communities.

Paws for Hearts Project: Provide Therapy/Support Dogs to Special Needs families within our Communities. Assisting families with Education, Dogs, Training, and Mentors for families to ensure that they can be successful with having a Therapy /Support Dog in their homes.

Training: RocDog works with local Trainers that fit the Format and Structure we require to produce high quality Therapy Dogs for our Handlers.

Our Vision:

Be Proactive in all our efforts:

  • Creating a Family of People and Dogs that can support each other and learn how to assist others.
  • Be in the Community to bring healing, support, and better understanding for everyone we work with.
  • Be in the World to help support those in need.

Our Approach:

RocDog has created a Family of Volunteers and Certified Therapy Dogs that can come together to be a force for GOOD in our Community.

Our Values:

At RocDog we value everyone. We are committed to join with and serve all those we find in need. We believe that Therapy Dogs can have a profound effect on people from all walks of life. We want to be that “Good Neighboor” to all those in need.