Jonah making a visiting.

Paws: Overview

We believe that Dogs thrive when they have a job to do. We see this every day as we make visits into the community with our Dogs. “Paws for Hearts” is a special program where we are using our skills as Therapy Dog Handlers and Trainers to help the Special Needs families in our Community. RocDog became an official Dog Rescue in the summer of 2022 to be able to better facilitate finding dogs and care for them as we worked to train them to become Therapy Dogs and start a new life with their Special Needs families. To date we have already placed 11 Dogs to their new forever home. The picture to the left is Jonah spending time with a young man with Special Needs. The picture says it all.

Currently we have dog #12 (Joel) in training as they work to become Therapy Dogs and then find him a new forever home. As RocDog is able to secure funding for this project we are hoping to add one dog to the program every month if possible. Volunteers will then Foster and Train these dogs with the help of our great Trainers, until they can be Certified as Therapy Dogs. RocDog expects this process to take about 6 months, but this can vary based on the dog and family to complete for each dog.

Paws: Support Notes

The RocDog “Paws for Hearts Project” is a very specialized program with dedicated Volunteers working with these great dogs to give them a new wonderful life as a Therapy/Support Dog in a special Needs family.

At RocDog we are always on the lookout for dogs. They find their way to us through many different paths. We work with Roc the Dog Rescue, Verona Street Animal Shelter, please local Trainers that hear about dogs that could fit.

The Special Needs family we serve are very active through this entire process. sometimes we find a family in need and work to find the dog, while other times the dog just kind of appears and then we work to find the right family.

Are you part of a Special Needs family or know someone with special Needs that you think could benefit from connecting with us. Please reach out to us. Let’s talk and see what we can do.

Joel one of our new rescues

Field work for training.

Paws: How does this all work

The key to the Paws for Hearts Project is being flexible. Some time we find a dog first and then sometimes we find the family first. Sometime people already have a dog and just need help with Training.

The big issue with Training for Special Needs families is the fact that most need vert small and possible low paced training. Not easily to be found in the community.

The steps are pretty straight forward:

  1. We find a family
  2. Then we find the dog
  3. Dog goes into foster care
  4. Dog Training with family in very small class
  5. Place dog in home
  6. Certify dog as a Therapy Dog
  7. Continue to Mentor family after placement.

Special Needs families have been told they need special Service Dogs that cost up to $50,000 or more. At RocDog we believe that our Hybrid Therapy/Support Dog can do amazing things with a family if given a chance. Through the generous donations from businesses and people in the community, families only pay a small fee for their dogs.

Contact us and let us help you.