Angel Ears began as a means of promoting humane education, adoption of rescue dogs and for the provision of supportive intervention by Registered Therapy Dogs to the community of children, disabled and the elderly. In 2006, several H.A.L.O. volunteers and their canine pals, all rescue dogs with stories of their own, committed to becoming registered therapy teams and R.E.A.D. trained.
Jaleh tells Shasta a tale.
Jake reads about the Navajo Indians to Kimoa
Bring a favorite book, if you’re ready To read, they’re ready to listen !!
Interested in your dog becoming a therapy dog? Contact us for more information!
East Contra Costa County
Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization
The current Angel Ears Teams were trained by Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TDI); however, there are many other preparatory programs available. For a listing of class dates, times and requisites, consider some of the following agencies:
If you are looking for a local group to join anywhere in the U.S., try:
Maybe you would rather just study on your own, consider:
Sofi reads as Dashiell listens attentively.
Since that time, Angel Ears Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D) teams have volunteered in eight East County libraries to work with children who can benefit in their quest to become better readers by having a four-pawed, furry, non-judgmental reading buddy. Angel Ears teams have provided their own warm ‘n fuzzy brand of empathy and nurturing acceptance to children, as well as to the elderly and disabled.
Angel Ears founding team: Shelby, Shasta, Kimoa and Dashiell.
What is Animal Assisted Activities and Therapy?
“Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) provides opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational, and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance quality of life. AAA is delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained professionals, paraprofessionals, and/or volunteers, in association with animals that meet specific criteria.” *
“Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning. AAT is provided in a variety of settings and may be group or individual in nature. This process is documented and evaluated” *
(*From: Standard of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy)
Animal Assisted Activities:
- More spontaneous with sessions running 10-20 minutes.
- Can be short or long term without specific goals.
- Tends to be a social and casual way to use the program to help kids have a positive experience with books, reading, dogs and the library.
Animal Assisted Therapy:
- Children are specifically referred by their teacher with planned goals for success.
- Sessions run for half an hour with time spent repoire building, reading and play.
What are the differences between the two:
For a variety of reasons, a child might be uncomfortable reading aloud, making it difficult to gauge their reading abilities. Some children may simply be shy or have trouble focusing due to ADHD/ADD. Others could be learning English as a second language. Reading to their Angel Ears buddy, children discover a safe place without judgment.
A Mother of twins, David and Sarah, Donna Lack had enrolled her daughter twice into a summer reading program at Cal State University, East Bay to improve her reading, without tangible results. Nor did a computer -based reading instruction course do much for Sarah’s fluency. But Donna persisted, and when she heard about Angel Ears she wasted no time in signing up her daughter. Sarah began to do an about face at the first meeting, and on the drive back she wanted to read the book she’d tackled with (former) Angel Ears team member Kimoa, first to her brother and mother and then to the family dog.
Meet Your Angel Ears Teams
Guinness is a four year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She has earned a Canine Good Citizen Award from AKC; has been a registered therapy dog for four years and a Registered R.E.A.D. dog for two years. Guinness enjoys sharing smiles and joy with her friends at local senior care facilities and loves to give a “ High Five” to the children that read to her at the library.
Maggie Mae became a Registered Therapy Dog in March 2013 and joined Angel Ears in September 2013, after she became a registered R.E.A.D. Therapy dog. Maggie loves meeting and sharing smiles with people she meets at Convalescent Hospitals and senior assisted living facilities. Listening to young children read to her in the library setting has become one of the highlights in her busy schedule.
Major,a six year old beagle, has been a therapy dog for 1 ½ years and a R.E.A.D. dog for 1 year. He likes to visit the library and be showered with affection by the children that read to him. He likes to give doggie kisses to show he is having fun.
Pandora is a 6 year old beagle. She has earned her Canine Good Citizen Award, has been a therapy dog for 4 years and a R.E.A.D. dog for 2 years. She enjoys her many senior friends as well as her friends at the library.
Maurice is a chihuahua/fox terrier mix. He got his Canine Good Citizen certification when he was a year old, and in seeing how good he was with children, Kristie had him evaluated as a therapy dog. He does regular therapy work for Alliance of Therapy Dogs, H.A.L.O. Angel Ears, and Tony LaRussa's ARF. He is also a proud member of Dog Scouts of America.
Valentino Raffaele is a three year old Poodle/Schnauzer mix. He was rescued from the shelter on Valentine’s Day 2012- thus his name Valentino. He was adopted specifically to be trained as an Angel Ears R.E.A.D. dog.
Touched By A Furry Angel
Is there something magical about your dog? You bet! As his human, you know your fuzzy buddy's charming quirks, and their instinctual ability to interact with a range of people and situations. Maybe you have decided that your Tex the Wonder Dog needs a job or that he would be a natural in working with the disabled, senior citizens, or as an up close and personal reading assistant for kids. H.A.L.O. Angel Ears welcomes certified therapy teams to participate in its programs.