Hand-In-Paw | Animal Assisted Therapy

by: Brandi Wilson



Hand-In-Paw is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. 
HIP's 100+ professionally trained teams of handlers and their animals help people 
heal at numerous facilities throughout Central Alabama. Volunteers are the backbone 
of the Hand-In-Paw organization and their hard work and dedication is unsurpassed.

Here is a short video dedicated to the loyal pets and pet trainers at Hand-In-Paw.

This video was created for Hand-In-Paw as a thank you to their volunteer pets and pet trainers on behalf of the community they serve.


More information about Hand-In-Paw:

The Hand-In-Paw organization is made up of 3 programs:


Sit, Stay, Read!

This program helps young readers overcome embarrassment and improve skills by reading aloud to a therapy animal. Therapy animals do not judge the child’s reading skills, making it easier to read to a pet than aloud to other students.

For more information about the Sit, Stay, Read! Program, visit http://www.handinpaw.org/?programs/sit-stay-read.html.



The Petscription program is what most people assume when they hear about pet therapy. Pet/Trainer teams visit hospitals, nursing homes, etc. to allow patients to interact with the animals. There are many studies that have been conducted stating that pet-therapy in these situations may actually lessen the need for pain medication and sedation, as well as lessen the stress on the medical facility’s staff.

For more information on the Petscription program, visit  http://www.handinpaw.org/?programs/petscription.html.


Pawsitive LivingTM

Pawsitive Living is a twelve-week program for troubled youth that teaches anger management,relationship-building, empathy and compassion. The goal of the program is to reduce violence among troubled youth and aid them in becoming productive members of society.

For more information about the Pawsitive Living program, visit  http://www.handinpaw.org/?programs/pawsitive-living.html.



Hand-In-Paw pets hold no prejudice against disease, disability, appearance, or age.


Benefits of pet-therapy include, but are not limited to:

  • Reduce stress and loneliness
  • Increase verbal interaction
  • Increase self-esteem and self-control
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Develop an individual anger management plan
  • Improve long-term and short-term memory
  • Increase physical exercise
  • Gain a sense of empowerment and trust
  • Give and receive affection
  • Increase empathy and compassion


This information and more on the benefits of pet-therapy can be found at www.handinpaw.org.

Hand-In-Paw is an affiliate program of the Delta Society, an international resource for animal-assisted therapy and activities. For more about the Delta Society, visit www.deltasociety.org.


For interesting research articles on the benefits of pet-therapy program, visit  http://www.deltasociety.org/Page.aspx?pid=333.


When a Hand-In-Paw team works with a patient, it makes a mark on the patients life forever.