What We Do

Mutts On A Mission is dedicated to sharing the love and companionship of our dogs with others.  Each team has gone through extensive training and testing to register as a therapy team with their pet.  The scientific research behind the benefits of therapy animals to others is real.  We see it every day when we work as teams to bring smiles, comfort, and support to our community.

Supporting Those Who May Be Facing Health Issues

Mutts On A Mission members visit many facilities throughout the west valley each and every week.

These one-on one encounters are designed to bring a smile and a little joy to the patients we visit. They may be patients in a hospital receiving chemotherapy or caregivers waiting while their love ones are being treated. We also serve the children who are victims of violent crimes, patients suffering from addiction, and people who suffer from the chains of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Our R.E.A.D. Program

We also support our young people who are not sick, but need a hand in their school work.  The statistics are clear.  We have a literacy issue in our country.  Sixty-eight percent of fourth grade children in the United States are reading below the proficiency level.  Mutts On A Mission has joined forces with Intermountain Therapy Animals, based out of Utah, to implement a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D) program right here in the west valley.  We are proud to be an affiliate of Intermountain Therapy Animals serving 23 countries with over 5,000 volunteers.

We started with one school, Barbara B. Robey Elementary, in Litchfield Park in 2017 and have now expanded the program to Litchfield Elementary, Odyssey Preparatory Academy in Buckeye and Littleton School in Avondale.

How does R.E.A.D. work? 

Each week a R.E.A.D. team goes to the school and works with the same child for some quality one-on-one reading time.  The child, who may be struggling with reading for any number of reasons, reads to the dog and receives tutoring from the human part of the team.  The benefits of pairing up a team with the same child every week for some individual reading time is astounding.  The child reads aloud to the dog (and the human) without fear of judgement if they stumble.  Over a  short time the bond that develops between the child and the dog is palpable!  And, since dogs don’t judge, the children gain confidence as their reading skills improve.

How do we know it works?

We work hand in hand with teachers in each school.  After each reading session we debrief with the teacher and discuss how the child did and whether or not they are ready for more.  Reading fluency is measured before, during, and after each semester.  The teachers were amazed, as were we, at how much these children improved over the first semester!  We knew we had to grow our program to reach more children and we continue to do so.

Fox 10 profiled our R.E.A.D. program.  Watch it here:

Children learn to read with the help of Therapy Dogs

 

 

 

Enjoy this documentary.  It is a fine example of how our dogs help children.

 

Interested in having the R.E.A.D program in your elementary school?  Contact us!