LionPaws is a partership between Paws4People and The LionHeart School in Alpharetta, Georgia. Paws4People sends Golden Retriever puppies to help the students with autism at The LionHeart School. It is a win-win situation as the puppies are being socialized to be future service dogs for injured war veterans who have Post-Traumic Stress Disorder. The Golden Retriever Puppies of LionPaws are Autism Light for how their presence helps the children with autism at The LionHeart School. They will be added today to the Autism Light Animal Page.
Here is a news story from USA Today on the LionPaws program.
Autism Speaks and NBC News 11 in Atlanta also did features on the Golden Retriever puppies in the LionPaws program.
The LionPaws program describes the benefit of their partnership as follows:
LionPaws is the only program of its kind in the nation, where students with special needs help socialize future Service Dogs. Many children with special needs have a natural affinity and comfort level with animals, so being around the puppies is beneficial for both the students and the puppies. Research indicates that animal interventions provide health benefits such as reducing anxiety levels, helping with depression and fear as well as facilitating social interactions (LionPaws Website).
The following was posted on Twitter about Austin and Memphis, representatives of these adorable Golden Retriever puppies.
Today's training was a ride on @MARTASERVICE for AUSTIN and MEMPHIS! #lionpaws #lionpawspdc #marta #paws4people pic.twitter.com/1T4TQg1SGI
— LionPaws PDC (@LionPaws_PDC) June 17, 2014
Special thanks to the Golden Retriever puppies in the LionPaws program and their human handlers who made this light to autism possible. Hopefully this concept of puppies learning socialization from students with autism will continue at The Lion School and be replicated in other schools in the future.