We are pleased to announce that our sweet Kelly has become a resident facility dog at AIM Academy in Conshohocken!
We are thrilled to have forged a partnership with AIM and look forward to witnessing the tremendous impact Kelly will have on the students there. Kelly is more than a therapy dog available for pets and snuggles. She also makes use of the large variety of skills she has learned over the last two years. She assists in easing anxiety, aids in practicing mindfulness, helps students complete tasks in speech and occupational therapy sessions, provides motivation in learning, and even helps bolster confidence in reluctant readers.
AIM’s Associate Director and co-founder Nancy Blair said, “Having a facility dog on campus will provide AIM’s highly-trained faculty with yet another tool to use when working with students on a variety of tasks both emotional and academic.”
As a fully trained facility dog, Kelly is at AIM every school day working with her handler team made up of three AIM faculty members. Her primary handler, the college guidance counselor, and her 2 secondary handlers, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. These individuals applied for the position and were chosen by the P&A team because they were the best fit for Kelly to help her fulfill her role at AIM. Kelly lives with her primary handler who brings her to and from school each day and makes sure she has a schedule to follow. All three handlers went through 2 full days of training at P&A to learn about their training philosophies, training methods and how to always advocate for Kelly in every situation. Following those sessions, Paws and Affection’s Head Trainer, Susie Daily, continued to take Kelly to AIM to complete hands-on training with the AIM handler team and to get her acclimated to the environment.
Once Kelly is settled in and everyone is comfortable, AIM and P&A will have an official graduation where all of Kelly’s accomplishments can be celebrated. Be on the lookout for details about this exciting day!