we are proud to serve our community
we are proud to serve our community
PAWS Therapy Dogs, Inc. is operated by volunteers only. We have no paid positions.
Since 2004, PAWS has been assisting with therapy dog teams. Each team has one dog and one handler.
There is no charge to learn about therapy dog work. We hold classes four times a year in Eustis, Florida.
We visit many locations each month with our teams of volunteers and their therapy dogs.
PAWS also provides humane education and how to be a responsible pet owner.
We also assist other charities, especially at holiday time.
We partner on a regular basis with Jesse's Fund. They provide assistance with vet bills for sick therapy dogs.
PAWS must be invited to a location to provide therapy work with our teams. We frequently visit nursing homes, retirement centers, bookstores, fire stations, law enforcement departments, and other special places.
We also attend parades to provide awareness of therapy dog work and our organization.
We offer membership to those interested in being part of a therapy dog team, as well as others that support our mission.
The Dangers of Retractable Leashes
Dogs who are 10 feet away, are NOT under control, even if they are on a leash.
Dogs who are on long leashes can dart into traffic and be hit by a car.
The retractable cord itself is dangerous and can lead to injuries of both the human and the dog.
The locks can fail, leading to complete failure to be able to control your dog.
The thin rope-like cord of the retractable leash can cause severe burns, deep cuts, entanglement or strangulations. It can even cause amputation to limbs and fingers of both humans and pets. If the cord portion of the leash is grabbed while it is being pulled, the chance of injuries increases greatly.
10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash:
1: The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people.
2: In the above scenario, or one in which your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It's much easier to regain control of – or protect -- a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he's 20 or so feet away at the end of what amounts to a thin string.
3: The thin cord of a retractable leash can break – especially when a powerful dog is on the other end of it. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end.
4: If a dog walker gets tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation. In addition, many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in bruises, "road rash," broken bones, and worse.
5: Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated trachea, and injuries to the spine.
6: Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to "fight back."
7: The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog.
8: Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog's fear is then "chasing" her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can't escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.
9: Retractable leashes, like most retractable devices, have a tendency to malfunction over time, either refusing to extend, refusing to retract, or unspooling at will.
10: Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven't been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractable train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.
Just because you think you have control of your dog on any leash, other dogs can attack.
Make sure you have the most control possible. We recommend a standard 4' leash for all dogs and require them for the dogs in our therapy program.
Therapy dogs provide a wide range of physical, emotional, and psychological benefits to individuals in various settings. These specially trained dogs offer comfort, companionship, and support, contributing to improved well-being and quality of life for people of all ages. Some of the key benefits of therapy dogs include:
It's important to note that therapy dogs are distinct from service dogs and emotional support animals. Therapy dogs are specifically trained to provide comfort and emotional support in various settings, whereas service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with disabilities, and emotional support animals provide comfort to individuals with diagnosed emotional or psychological conditions.
The positive effects of therapy dogs are well-documented, and their presence can make a significant difference in various contexts, offering a source of comfort, happiness, and connection.