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The Ananda & Johnny Program pairs companion dogs, rescued from shelters, with inner city children thereby benefiting the dogs, the children , their families and the community as a whole. A&J benefits dogs, which might otherwise be euthanized, by providing them with loving homes. In order to place them in inner city homes, A&J provides the families with the necessary support to properly care for the dogs. We supply food, veterinary care, obedience training, and equipment such as bowls, leashes, crates and toys. There are ongoing meetings with the dogs, the children, and their families. These meetings will continue for the life of the dog. They will serve to reinforce the principles of responsible guardianship. A&J benefits the children and their families by providing them with the joys of being a guardian for a loving animal. This enables the child and family to experience that special bond between people and dogs. It teaches children what dogs have taught children for generations: self esteem, responsibility and empathy. Those ongoing meetings, moreover, will provide some educational content. The children will be encouraged to read books and articles on dogs which will be discussed in some of those meetings. This will also be an aid to improve literacy and grades. The community will also benefit because, as part of the program, the child and dog will train so that the dog becomes a therapy dog. The dog and child will then visit nursing homes and hospitals thereby bringing this joy to others in the community. In addition, sweet-tempered and well-mannered dogs can have collateral effects on any community.
This is a program to make homes for dogs and benefit people at the same time.
- Dr. Mary Anne Phillips
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