It is well known and scientifically proven that an interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant physical and mental health benefits. The introduction and utilization of therapy pets often decreases feelings of isolation, encourages communication and lowers anxiety.
The Linn County Juvenile Detention Center, with the help of Grant Wood AEA, has Corridor Therapy Dogs come on a regular basis to meet with the youth who are residing in the detention center. Some of the dogs offer companionship while others help with reading enhancement. Allowing a youth to read to a dog helps the child focus and creates a non-stressful, non-judgmental environment which increases a youth’s self-confidence.
Several youth report that the dogs make them happy, help them cope and calm them down. One male resident insightfully shared, “At home dogs are what keep the family together. It’s comforting in here to have things we cherish.”
A female resident believes the dogs are the greatest thing ever at detention….besides the staff. Most of the youth look forward to the dogs visit and are excited to spend time with them.
This is an enhancement to the detention center’s programming that is making a difference to the youth being served.
Pictured above is Sofie, one of the therapy dogs during a visit to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center.