What We Do

Welcome to what we know will be life-changing and life-enhancing for both you and your dog.  Putting people and animals together, for the happiness and healing of all, is among the most powerful, joyful and rewarding “work” on earth.  The research behind the benefits of therapy animals to others is real!

In an on-going effort to educate others about the work of animal-assisted therapy, we participate in parades, attend health fairs, community festivals, and make public presentations.

 Supporting Those in Need

Mutts On A Mission teams visit many facilities each week which include hospitals, cancer centers, children’s hospitals, schools, adult medical facilities, behavioral health facilities for children, and violent crime facilities that serve children.  We do not make in-home visits for liability reasons.

Our R.E.A.D. Program

We also support young children 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 become an affiliate 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

 

 

 

Paws for Reading program at the Goodyear Library.  Just another example of how our dogs help children.

Paws for Reading

Today is #NationalDogDay and we thought we’d celebrate it by spotlighting an amazing program called Paws for Reading at the Goodyear Library. Thank you to all our pup friends and handlers at Mutts On A Mission for making such a positive impact on the young readers in our community!National Dog Day

Posted by City of Goodyear, AZ – USA on Monday, August 26, 2019

 

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