PetPalsNC, Inc

Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy


CaryCary, NC 27518 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Founded in 2007, PetPalsNC (PPNC) promotes and supports free animal-assisted intervention for K-12 students in public schools to enhance academic, social, emotional, and behavioral growth.


Since its inception, PPNC has provided thousands of students with mental, physical, educational, social, and motivational support to enhance their lives, and prior to the pandemic, the organization was powered by more than 50 dedicated, certified pet therapy teams (handler + dog). We offer programs in multiple school districts in the NC Triangle area, and we serve a diverse population since dogs don't discriminate, judge, laugh, or criticize, and they speak a universal language! Most referred students are challenged by physical, mental, emotional, and/or learning disabilities, as well as by economic hardship. In addition to regular visits to schools, our pet therapy teams participate in school and community events, and, through our Comfort Dog Program, therapy dog teams provide a source of calm and comfort when a student or teacher dies. The work is intentional: goals are set, and we work with school professionals to plan various interventions to integrate the dog into work with students. Dogs can help in many facets of the educational process, such as reading/literacy, speech, special ed., PT, OT, and emotional/social skill-building. Also, these are excellent opportunities to teach safety, responsibility, compassion, and sensitivity. While some students are involved in the program for only a semester, others develop long and meaningful relationships with "their" dogs.


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