Sudbury dog therapy group needs more dogs, volunteers

A sudbury dog therapy group is in need of more dogs and volunteers in order to meet high demands.

Magical Paws is having to turn down requests for the dogs

Magical Paws, a non-profit dog therapy group, can't serve their high demands due to a lack of volunteers and dogs. (Marina Von Stackelberg/CBC)

A dog therapy group in Sudbury is having to turn people away because they do not have enough volunteers.

Magical Paws is a volunteer-run, non-profit pet therapy group that provides the service of therapy dogs to nursing homes, retirement homes and schools.

However, the popular service is having trouble meeting the demand due to a lack of volunteers and dogs.

Pet therapy has become so popular in Sudbury that one group is facing a pet shortage. The CBC's Marina von Stackelberg spoke with Annette Lumbis who runs a dog therapy group in Sudbury called Magic Paws. 6:07

The coordinator of Magical Paws says it can be difficult work for the animals.

“Dogs are like sponges, they absorb emotion,” said Annette Lumbis.

“You're walking down the hall, and there's people there who are depressed. People who have anxiety. There are people who are excited, happy. They pick it up, even if they don't go in their room."

Lumbis said the shortage of volunteers and dogs is largely in part because  many people think their pet isn't cut out for the job .But she says that a pet therapy dog doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to have a lot of love to give.

“Some people will say to me, ‘Oh I don’t know. He's really hyper. He jumps, he does this and that.’ And we say, you know, there's no cost to try it out."

Currently the group has 60 dogs and handlers and do 21 visits per month to seniors homes and care facilities.


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