About Loving Paws
Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. was born in August, 2013 to serve a gap in the Douglas County area. While many communities have animal assisted activity programs that provide services in schools, long-term care facilities, and other social service agencies, no such agency provided these services in our area. Research consistently demonstrates that animal assisted activity, when administered in these settings, has positive physiological and psychological benefits for both children and adults. In the last two years, Loving Paws has grown from 1 volunteer teams to over 30 teams. We serve over 20 facilities, both in scheduled visits and drop-ins. Each year, our teams visit with over 4000 individuals, many of whom have look forward to our visits and sign up for our programs. Loving Paws Animal Therapy is 100% donation based. For more information on how you can help, click “Donate” or visit our Event pages.
About Raven Rajani Founder & Director
Raven has been an animal lover for as long as she can recall, adopting her first dog in 1990. Since then, her life has been filled with fur and paws. Dogs have served as her family members and constant companions, providing a deep sense of peace and fulfillment to her over the years. Aside from loving on her own fur family, she is an advocate for rescue and have been involved with saving literally hundreds of animals over the past 18 years. In May 2014, she received her Clinical MSW from the University of Kansas. She has always had a passion for helping others, so pairing her desire to assist people and her love for animals (dogs) came naturally, as it supported the human-animal bond and was the catalyst to create Loving Paws Animal Therapy Program, Inc. Raven’s better half is a blue Staffordshire Terrier named Shakti. Orphaned along side a road in Marion, Arkansas, she and her siblings found her way to safety through the kindness of a good Samaritan. Shakti came into Raven’s life as a puppy, and has been touching and changing lives ever since. She is love without reservation, judgment or expectation and she is a fabulous Ambassador for her breed. Together, they spread love and work magic wherever we go.
AAA (Animal Assisted Activities)
are goal-directed activities designed to improve one’s quality of life through utilization of the human/animal bond. Animals and their handlers must be screened and trained. Activities may be therapeutic but aren’t guided by a credential therapist who can bill for services.
AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy)
utilizes the human/animal bond in goal-directed interventions as a part of the treatment process. Working animals and their handlers are screed, trained and meet specific criteria. A credentialed therapist, working within the scope of practice of his/her profession, sets goals, guides interactions between patient and animal, measures progress toward therapy goals and evaluates the process. AAA can be billed as reimbursable therapy.
Most call both of these ‘animal assisted therapy’ – our volunteers will be providing AAA!