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Dr. Dog/Professor Paws:
What, Why and How

Animals Asia Foundation


Dr Dog is an innovative animal therapy programme that provides people with what they need most - a best friend!

Pioneered by Animals Asia Founder, Jill Robinson, the concept of animal therapy in Asia began with just one dog and a vision to promote animal welfare through people welfare. Dr. Max - a gentle golden giant - was allowed just one hour in the garden of the Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital in 1991....it was a visit that was to mark the start of a positive change in the public's perception of dogs and following in Max's healing paw prints, the Dr. Dog programme has grown quite literally in leaps and bounds!

Over 300 'Canine Consultants', registered as official Animals Asia animal therapy dogs and teams of enthusiastic volunteers make regular visits to hospitals, disabled centres, homes for the young and elderly, orphanages and schools, spreading warmth and unconditional love to people in need in 6 countries across Asia.

Our Dr. Dogs give patients the feeling that they are the most special person in world - a loyal new friend who won't judge them for the way they look or their illness and one who accepts them regardless of class, race, age or disability.

Today Dr. Dog has expanded beyond recognition and has embarked on new educational initiatives to encourage a respect for all life, as well as spreading its unique blend of canine comfort, laughter and friendship to Taiwan, China, Japan, India and the Philippines


As shown by the outstanding success of our Dr. Dog animal therapy programme, the bond between people and animals can be an incredible and powerful means of helping and healing a wide variety of people within the health care community. The potential for our Dr. Dogs to further contribute to society is enormous: Animals Asia is expanding the scope of the Dr. Dog programme and increasing the positive impact that dogs can have by creating exciting new roles for our Dr. Dogs to improve the lives of more and more people in the community at large.

With talk of the English language standard dropping across Hong Kong, coupled with a widespread fear of dogs amongst students that she had noticed during her presentations at local schools, the “Professor Paws Pet Cadet” programme is the brainchild of our Education Director, Anneleise Smillie, who came up with this unique combination of improving the English language and literacy skills of local children, whilst promoting another positive example of the ways companion animals can enrich our lives.

Many children in Hong Kong, especially those living on public housing estates, have never even had the chance to touch a dog and parents often tell their children not to do so because they think they are dirty or carry diseases. The outbreak of SARS last year played directly into this fear and Anneleise began to think about new ways Animals Asia could tackle the problem and start changing attitudes from a young age….

  • Research has shown that dogs can be instrumental in improving the learning skills of a wide variety of children in an effective, unique and most importantly, a fun manner.
  • Close interaction with dogs is proven to increase self-confidence and pro-social behavior amongst students, whilst encouraging the development of compassion and widening their scope of experience.
  • Reading and learning become enjoyable activities as the dogs are an adoring audience and valuable focal point.
  • Improvements go beyond reading and writing, children are more motivated to learn and look forward to school.

 How Can My Dog Volunteer?
Please click here to go to the Animals Asia website for detailed information. 

Basic Requirements for Potential Dr. Dogs/Professor Paws

  • Volunteer dogs of pedigree or mixed breed naturally need to be healthy and have a happy, placid, nature.
  • Dogs must be at least two years old before examination.
  • Both male and female dogs must be de-sexed. Read details on the benefits of de-sexing your dog.
  • Dogs must display basic obedience skills.
  • Dogs must have lived with the handler for at least 6 months prior to examination.
  • All vaccinations must be up to date and proof of vaccination provided for our records.
  • Any dog over 20 kg in weight must be held on a leash not more than 2 metres in length when in a public place (as specified by the Dangerous Dogs Legislation) by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong.

 

 

 How Can I Volunteer?

 

Basic Volunteer Requirements-Dr. Dog

  • Dr. Dog volunteers must be over the age of 18 and have their own dog.
  • Volunteers must be committed to the programme and its aims.
  • Volunteers must have good "people skills" and an enthusiastic personality.
  • Volunteers must be willing to be a part of a team and enjoy meeting new people.

 

Basic Volunteer Requirements-Professor Paws

  • Professor Paws volunteers must be native English speakers.
  • Professor Paws volunteers must be over the age of 18.
  • Volunteers must be available for visits on weekdays. Visits are to schools across Hong Kong. Each lesson lasts one hour, however, allowing for additional traveling time, volunteers need to allow approximately 3 hours for each visit.
  • Volunteers must be committed to the programme and its aims.
  • Volunteers must have good "people skills" and an enthusiastic personality.
  • Volunteers must be willing to be a part of a team and enjoy meeting new people.

 

Organizations wishing to receive Dr. Dog/Professor Paws visits
Please contact Marnie Yau on the Dr. Dog Hotline: (852) 2653 4068


Dr. Dog Hong Kong Contact Details
Dr. Dog Programme Manager: Marnie Yau
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (852) 2653 4068
Fax: (852) 2791 2320

Professor Paws Hong Kong Contact Details
Professor Paws Supervisor: Karina O'Carroll
Email: [email protected]
Tel: + (852) 2653 4068
Fax: + (852) 2791 2320

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Being a foster parent to a needy animal is a wonderful way to do charitable work and get some instant gratification in return!  Whether it is a newborn kitten or a dog who has been brutalized, your help is greatly needed and appreciated.  Please fill out a Volunteer Foster application to be contacted when one of our needy animals can use your help.

Thank you for your support and for helping those who can't speak for themselves!

Warmly,

Janice

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