Article Provided by PAWS for People

Our Mission:

PAWS for People is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of people in our community by lovingly providing individualized, therapeutic visits with our specially trained volunteers and their certified gentle, affectionate pets.

Founding and Growth

PAWS for People was founded in 2005 with 21 trained therapy teams visiting ten sites. PAWS has grown significantly over the past 17 years, now with over 400 volunteer teams and partnering sites throughout Delaware and the adjacent counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Those sites range from local libraries and schools to major hospital networks and military bases. With each new environment or population, we have worked with experts to develop free training so our pet therapy volunteers are better prepared for their visits.

What We Do

PAWS trains volunteers with their own gentle, affectionate pets to provide pet therapy in a variety of settings. Together they offer comfort, companionship, and a myriad of other benefits. Our therapy companions (dogs, cats and bunnies) offer their calming presence, their animal energy, and their uncanny natural ability to sense distress and the need for comfort in people they don’t even know. And today, the need and demand for PAWS pet therapy visits is greater than ever.

PAWS in Action

PAWS therapy companions visited with the staff of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System at Dover Air Force Base at the end of May. The resiliency event provided an opportunity for the AFMES team to DeStress with gentle, affectionate pets. It was a glorious event and PAWS’ first visit back at the Medical Examiners Unit since Covid. There was a squeal of joy when the teams arrived! Even through masks, our teams could feel the smiles and see the tears in the staff member’s eyes.

How to Get Involved

PAWS for People serves areas throughout Delaware, in southern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Maryland. Do you have a gentle, affectionate pet or would you like to receive PAWS pet therapy visits?

Learn more at or call 302-351-5622.

The WAG & Walkathon is PAWS for People’s signature fundraising event. This year’s month-long cumulative marathon will begin with a Facebook Live Step Off event, a month of mile-tracking & fun challenges, and conclude with an in-person Cross the Finish Line Celebration on Saturday October 15th at Glasgow Park in Newark, DE. If you have always wanted to run a marathon but cannot complete 26.2 miles all at one time, the cumulative marathon concept lets you log your 26.2 miles anytime, at your own pace, throughout the month. You can run/walk on your own, with a pet, or with friends. The in-person Cross the Finish Line event will feature doggie games & contests, vendors and awards for mileage tracking, fundraising, and team-building.

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