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Fall/Winter 2011

THE GOLDEN NEWS The official newsletter for Birmingham’s non-profit organization motivating people towards brighter days

“How do you do it?” Those of us, and there are many, whose therapy pets visit chronically ill people, especially children, are asked this question often. My first response is to relate several recent visits. - Maybe the one to UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center where two little girls were sitting in my lap, on the floor, laughing and playing with Prince, my 4-year-old Sheltie. The girls had become buddies and always waited for each other after their radiation treatments. One of the girls has since passed away; yet, for these children, that time with Prince was fun, normal, and a bright spot during their appointments. - Or possibly it could be the visit to The Bell Center, where a 3-year-old with a degenerative condition spoke for the first time. In spite of not being able to walk, talk, or even hold his head up, he was always included in the classroom activities. This particular morning the children were taking turns saying “hi” to Prince. When his aide started to answer for him, the child took several deep breaths, and out came “hi.” Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. - Just last week at UAB Pediatric Cardiology, we were visiting a child, several days post-op, who smiled for the rd Be a Part of HIP’ s 3 Annual Mutt Strut: H A N D I N PA W ’ S S E C O N D A N N U A L Dog Friendly 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run


Hand in Paw’s young-professional group, SoHIP (Supporters of Hand in Paw), is organizing the Third Annual Mutt Strut. The race will be held Saturday, April 21st at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For more details on how to participate, information on the event, and how Dog Friendly 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run to be a sponsor, see page 6.

first time since her surgery while watching Prince do a trick. - Recently at the Children’s of Alabama’s Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy unit, a severely burned child struggled to reach up and put a strand of Mardi Gras beads over Prince’s neck while he stood patiently on top of a table. In spite of scar tissue constriction and, I’m sure, pain, she kept working until he had a neck full of beads. She smiled and thanked us when we left. The list goes on and on. Often I have to remind myself that we can’t change the diagnosis or the prognosis, but we can bring some joy and normalcy to people during our visits. Is it difficult to do this? Absolutely. But this is more rewarding than anything I have ever done. I am so grateful to have this opportunity through Hand in Paw, with my wonderful therapy dog, Prince. It has truly put everything in my life in better perspective. So the next time I’m asked, “How do you do it?” I’ll, again, answer, “How can I not?” -Tina Currie & Prince Hand in Paw Therapy Team

Want your pet to be the cover of HIP’s Holiday Cards this year? We will take a picture of your pet, and local artist John Lytle Wilson will turn the card into something fun and exciting that represents not only his signature style, but also the holiday season. Learn how to pre-order your 2011 Hand in Paw Holiday Cards today. See page 5 for more details.

1912 14th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35205 T (205)322.5144 F (205)322.7784


Letter from the Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Scott Grover Already, we’re feeling that crisp snap in the morning air that signals the Vice President advent of fall in Alabama. Before long, we’ll be carving pumpkins and Matt Lackey Treasurer revisiting our recipes for Grandmother’s, or in some cases, Grandfather’s, Clay Jones, CPA stuffing and green bean casserole. Secretary Sheree York Members This Thanksgiving will be especially significant to the staff and our extendT.C. Branch, DVM ed Hand in Paw family. As we can look back on this year’s calendar of Cindy Grant, DVM Joshua Klapow, Ph.D fundraisers, we can point with pride to one of our most successful Picasso Debra Linton, CPA Pets ever. Not only was this year’s Picasso Pets profitable in financial Cassie Moore terms – we can also celebrate a behind-the-scenes victory . Each volunJoy O’Neal Douglas R. Rohm teer, board member, staff member and artist worked toward achieving our Lynnette Sefcik, CPA common goal with the utmost goodwill, kindness and camaraderie. I couldn’t have asked for Beverly Virciglio, CPA more from anyone involved. Tina Willard ADVISORY COUNCIL Chairperson Going forward, my enthusiasm for our partnership with all the facilities we serve continues to Jennifer Buettner Members grow. Our association with UAB is reaching a whole new level, with plans around the corner to Alvin Atlas, DVM begin conducting significant quantitative research. For years, we have known without-a-doubt Kelly A. Bownes that animal-assisted therapy helps change people’s lives for the better, but now, our subjective Timothy L. Colbert, DVM Elizabeth Harbert Cornay reports will be supported by hard data. Not only will this data help separate Hand in Paw from James Cunningham, CPA the pack when we apply for grant monies; it will also bring national attention to our work. Am I Steve Dunlap thankful for UAB? You bet! C. Merrimon Epps III Beth A. Franklin Idie Hastings Stephanie Hightower, M.D. I don’t want to say good-bye without mentioning those of you have believed in us through thick Ken Jackson and thin. We depend on you to make the life-changing work of our Therapy Teams possible. Susanne Jones The words “thank you” do not begin to cover our immense and heart-felt gratitude for your gifts Sheryl Kimerling of time and support. James C. Lasker, M.D. Beth Leonard Sandy Logan As we prepare for the holiday season and the exciting days ahead, we can revel in the seasons Phyllis McCombs past, and say a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for the future. We are so very thankful for your amazJudy Merritt, Ph.D. Allen Montgomery ing energy and are truly appreciative of the financial support you always provide as the current Jeff Morrison year ends and a new and exciting January dawns. John Moser Rev. James L. Myers Susan Nelms, DVM Kate Nicholson Kitty Terry Joan Cain Pizitz Salle Merrill Redfield Lisa Thompson Smith Joan Stelling A Volunteer Holiday Party will be held at the Hand in Paw office on Monday, Carol H. Stewart November 14th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sandra H. Storm Ava D. Story Please mark your calendars, and look for an invitation in your email soon! Lisa Thompson Pete Van Pelt Mary O. Wier We would like to extend a huge thank you and Jerome B. Williams EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR best wishes to our recently retired Therapy Kitty Terry Teams: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lisa McNair Christy Cole & Buddy DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEERS Betsy Smith & Mandy Candice Armstrong Mary Phillips & Millie PROGRAMS DIRECTOR Liz Wilson Dorothy Gerr with Daisy & Charlie MARKETING/PR We extend our deepest sympathies in the losses Stacey Gwin & Coda Paige Hardee of these Therapy Pets: DATA ADMINISTRATION Vicki Shay & Buddy Vicki Shay Natalie Crowe’s Funchee ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Beth Fuller’s Abby Carol Speed



TEAMWORK Leah LaGrone & Blue

On any given Monday, you will see Leah and Blue walking around downtown Birmingham. With Blue in his uniform, they visit the UAB Cancer Center and then walk to the VA Medical Center to lift the spirits of patients and staff. Blue is always a “BIG hit” on his visits. A hard day’s work is rewarded with a visit to the hot dog man or the occasional cheeseburger. After work and reward, they return home to their family. The family consists of Chuck (Leah’s husband of nine years), Pink (a deaf white Great Dane), Spotty (the Dane in a Kitten suit), and usually a foster Great Dane (that Blue trains for placement in a forever-home). Many, after meeting Blue, wonder how the LaGrone family keep it all together. Leah credits their success to patience, love, and miles of walking! Where/why did you get Blue? Blue was rescued by Great Dane Rescue, Inc. after being dumped in a Michigan shelter and being deemed unadoptable due to his size and lack of socialization. We first saw

A special highlight of a Therapy Team...

him on a website and after a few conversations, Chuck and I decided that we must bring him home. How long have you been a HIP volunteer? I was interested in volunteering with Hand in Paw for years, but it was only two years ago that Blue and I began visiting patients. Which facilities do you serve? We usually visit the UAB Cancer Center, the VA Medical Center, and Pawsitive LivingTM. We also participate in other enrichment programs and love to honor special requests. Why did you think Blue would be a good Therapy Dog? Blue has a calm, patient, and friendly temperament. He is so easygoing, I just knew he’d be a great therapy dog! When Blue isn’t being a Therapy Dog, what’s his favorite thing to do? In the summer, we usually vacation at the beach. Blue loves to run on the sand and play in the waves. His ears and jowls flapping in the breeze is an awesome sight. In the winter, Blue loves to curl up close to the fireplace. We have to make sure he doesn’t get too hot to the touch. Have you had a visit that has been particularly memorable for you? All of our visits are memorable, but one that particularly stands out was a visit to the Palliative Care floor at the VA. It made our day when one man remarked, “I was hoping someone would bring a dog to see me today!”

Many Thanks to Our Recent Grantors!

Without the support of our generous grantors, Hand in Paw would not be able to serve the community like we do. Thank you to these groups for making our mission possible.

Benevolent Fund


HIP at UAB Hand in Paw Therapy Program By Susan Hall

Lauren Ellis, an Honors in Nursing student at UAB, has seen the positive power that pets can have on human health. She worked with Hand in Paw (HIP) animal-assisted therapy for her honors service learning project, and spent several hours observing the volunteer pet-and-human teams in action at UAB. “One child I met was going through radiation at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and instead of getting up in the morning feeling fearful and anxious about her treatment, she was excited about which HIP animal she’d spend time with that day,” Ellis says. “Instead of crying and feeling nervous on the drive from their hotel, she would talk about the dog. Coming out of treatment, she knew she would get to play with the dog, give it treats, and see it do tricks. It completely changed the tone of treatment and took it from being a potentially negative, scary thing to something she could look forward to and be excited about.” Ellis says that in the vast majority of her observations, interactions with HIP helped patients become more relaxed and positive. Several studies support what Ellis experienced and show that animal-assisted therapy can lower heart rate, anxiety, loneliness, and even pain. Other studies show improvements in mood, recovery from trauma, and willingness to engage in physical and social activities. One of the biggest impacts Ellis witnessed was in physical rehabilitation settings. “Occupational and physical therapists told me they saw a huge difference in patient motivation to do exercises when there was an animal present versus when there wasn’t.” Melissa Bearden, clinical assessment and reimbursement chief operating officer of Rehabilitation Services echoes Ellis’ sentiment. “Hand in Paw has made a huge impact with our patients in utilizing our therapy goals. Our HIP volunteer has even fostered one of our employee’s dogs after the April tornados, which has been a huge blessing for us and speaks volumes of Hand in Paw.” UAB regularly receives visits from 31 human and 30 pet volunteers, including 29 dogs and one cat, who spend time with patients in Geriatric Psychiatry, Palliative Care, Pediatric Cardiology, Renal Transplant, the Cardiac Care Unit, Spain Rehabilitation Center, and the Comprehensive


Cancer Center (CCC). HIP volunteers and their animals go through rigorous training, both through HIP and UAB Volunteer Services. “I feel so fortunate to be able to visit the patients at UAB with Abby,” says Terri Jones, a HIP volunteer who works with patients at the CCC with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Abby. “It can be very difficult knowing that so many people are faced with cancer. However, seeing the smiles on the faces of the children when they see Abby makes it worth it. It is so rewarding, to be able to help them and their families, even if it is for a brief moment, forget about the pain and fear. Hopefully, we are able to help make their journey a little easier.” Jane Love, a child life coordinator in Pediatric Cardiology agrees that the dogs and people of HIP truly help her patients. “Children need more than medicine to get well,” she says. “Pet therapy works miracles in our pediatric patients. The dogs are able to engage the children when no one else can. A child who may not be talking or smiling becomes a different child when the dog enters the room. These working dogs bring out the best in the child and help them feel like life is normal for a few minutes.” The relationship that the HIP team fosters goes beyond the patient, Ellis notes. “The animal and pet owner also build a relationship with the patient’s family. They become someone who the family can talk to, who knows their story, and can help lower their anxiety, too,” she says. To see this article and more, visit UAB Medicine’s Cancer Blog Your Fight at puppy-love/.

©2011 UAB Health System Marketing Publications

YOUR PET COULD BE FAMOUS! Would you like your pet to be on Hand in Paw’s 2011 Holiday Card for all of your friends and family to see? Well now’s your chance! We will photograph your pet, and local artist, John Lytle Wilson, will turn the card into something fun and exciting that represents not only his signature style, but also the holiday season. We will be accepting bids until November 10th. Please be sure to check back and bid often! For more information on John Lytle Wilson please visit his website at *The card image can be up to 3 of your pets; either dogs and/or cats

To bid on this very unique opportunity, please visit and click “Holiday Cards” Not interested in bidding? Well go ahead and order your cards today! Whether you are sending cards to family, friends, neighbors, clients, or co-workers this holiday season, choose cards that allow you to give a little more. With Hand in Paw’s holiday cards you can give twice. You can purchase cards in bundles of ten, or leave all the work to us and send us a list of names and addresses and we will mail the cards for you. You will be recognized in our publications for your generosity and ongoing support of Hand in Paw. Again, please visit to order today. If you have any questions regarding bidding or ordering, please contact Paige at

Wells Fargo pays tribute to local organizations Wells Fargo is proud to support non-profits that work to strengthen our communities. Through corporate and foundation grants, they share their success by giving back to non-profit organizations that address vital community needs and issues, including community development, education, human services and cultural/civic projects. On Tuesday, September 20th, Wells Fargo presented Hand in Paw with a $1,000 grant at their Days of Giving Breakfast held in the new Trails of Africa at the Birmingham Zoo.

Pictured from left to right: Hand in Paw’s Candice Armstrong & Paige Staylor with Wells Fargo’s Mountain Brook Branch Manager, Sara M. Di Ruscio.

Want to be a HIP Therapy Team? Our next training session will begin in early February 2012. Look for the 2012 training calendar on our website (www. after Thanksgiving. If you’re interested in volunteering with a pet, please note the following pre-requisites: 1. You and your dog must have completed a basic obedience class prior to beginning training with HIP. 2. You must have owned your pet at least six months prior to beginning training with HIP. 3. Your pet must be at least one-year-old prior to beginning training with HIP. While you’re waiting on the next training session, here are some things you can practice, if you’re planning on volunteering with your pet: - Expose your pet to different environments and people of all ages- and do it often! A therapy pet loves interaction with all sorts of people and is comfortable in many types of settings. -Take an additional obedience class if it has been a while since your last one – you can never be too prepared! - Visit HIP’s website often for updates, which will include some resources for you as you prepare for training. - Hand in Paw is an affiliate of the Delta Society; visit the Delta Society’s website for more information on Animal-Assisted Therapy ( Contact Candice at for more information.


H A N D I N PA W ’ S T H I R D A N N U A L

MUTT STRUT Dog Friendly 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run

Hand in Paw’s young-professional group, SoHIP (Supporters of Hand in Paw), will again organize the 3rd Annual Mutt Strut: Dog Friendly 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run. The event will be held on Saturday, April 21st at the Green of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The day will be packed with fun not only for the avid runner and dog-lover, but for the whole family. From running the 5k, walking the 1 mile, listening to live music, visiting local vendors, to watching Manners in Motion’s agility dogs, you will not only have a great day, but you will also support our local non-profit! To register to run/walk visit or

Become a Sponsor and Get Great Publicity! Title Sponsor- $5,000

• The event will be recognized as Mutt Strut, Presented by “Your company” for all promotional materials and on the front of the event t-shirt • Banner at the start/finish line • 2 race teams of 5 participants • Recognition on event website with a direct link to your company’s website • Recognition in e-blasts and all forms of social media • Recognition in our semi-annual newsletter that reaches approximately 3,000 households • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • VIP placement with one table and tent in the Mutt Strut Village

Gold Sponsor- $2,500

• Name on the back of event t-shirt • Prominent signage at event (mile markers, water stations, etc.) • Race team of 5 participants • Recognition on event website • Recognition in e-blasts and all forms of social media • Recognition in our semi-annual newsletter that reaches approximately 3,000 households • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table and tent in the Mutt Strut Village

Silver Sponsor- $1,000

• Name on the back of event t-shirt • Race team of 5 participants • Recognition on event website and all forms of social media • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table in the Mutt Strut Village

Village Vendor- $500


04.21.12 at...

info Find more


• Recognition on event website and all forms of social media • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table in the Mutt Strut Village To be a sponsor please mail us the following information along with a check for the appropriate amount: name, address, email, company name, and phone number. Also, if applicable, email your company’s logo and facebook/twitter page names to Paige at

Pawsitive LivingTM Facilitators

Pawsitive Living™ is an innovative 12-week program that teaches compassion and anger management to at-risk children and youth. Written by licensed professionals, Hand in Paw’s proprietary, evidence-based Pawsitive Living™ curriculum works to prevent family and community violence and prepare youth to be better citizens and parents in the future. A one-to-one ratio of Hand in Paw’s professionally-trained volunteers and youth from partnering agencies is a critical aspect of the program, because it fosters the formation of mentor/mentee relationships. Trained facilitators teach the classes and introduce activities that teach healthy ways of coping that incorporate the animals. The pets serve as a bridge of communication between the volunteers and the participants, many of whom have developed a hard facade due to past experiences. We have asked our amazing Pawsitive LivingTM facilitators to give us insight into this program from their perspective. Many thanks to Amanda Carmicheal, Sonia Crist, and Jan Hofman for all that you do for Hand in Paw, especially while serving this at-times neglected demographic. Hand in Paw would also like to wish good luck to Claire Robb as she embarks on her first term as a Pawsitive LivingTM facilitator this fall.

Why do you enjoy coming back each new term of Pawsitive LivingTM to be a facilitator?

I enjoy coming back for each round of Pawsitive LivingTM because it gives me the opportunity to connect with volunteers who share my world view. Hand in Paw’s Therapy Visit Assistants and Delta Registered Pet Partners share a sincere desire to give of themselves and open themselves up to new experiences with people. No two Pawsitive LivingTM groups are ever quite the same. Each of the young people (as well as each of the dedicated volunteers) arrives with his or her own challenges and issues, but for an hour and a half, one night a week, over a twelve week period we all gather to simply enjoy the company of a furry companion and share a very uplifting series of experiences together. I look forward to each series with an open heart and with the knowledge that I will, as both a facilitator and a participant, leave as a deeply enriched and empowered individual. -Sonia Crist

What made you interested in becoming a Pawsitive LivingTM facilitator?

My experience with Hand in Paw began a few years ago when I started working as a Recreational Therapist at Children’s Hospital. Occasionally I would ask for a Pet Partner to join my treatment sessions with my patients to give a little extra encouragement and a friendly furry face to cheer them up. It didn’t take long for me to realize what a great asset they were for patients, families, and staff. I expanded the use of Pet Partners into my clinics to help ease anxiety for patients, provide distraction, and even help with examinations. During this time I was also studying counseling in graduate school. I knew immediately I wanted to incorporate pet therapy into my future counseling practice. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have the time to devote to training and loving my own Pet Partner. This is one of the primary reasons I wanted to become involved with Pawsitive LivingTM. Over the summer I was given the opportunity to observe the group and was amazed by the changes I saw in the boys we served as well as in myself. I am excited as a facilitator to work with such a dedicated group of people who will help me guide the group and see the power of the Pet Partner’s presence. Every volunteer that I have met truly exudes compassion and love, not only for their pet, but for those they are serving. I am so excited about working with Pawsitive LivingTM and the Hand in Paw family! -Claire Robb

Why do you think Pawsitive LivingTM is a beneficial program to at-risk youth as opposed to other youth programs in the community?

When I tell people about Pawsitive LivingTM, I always explain that the guys in our class immediately bond with the dogs – generally one dog in particular. At some point, however – and this happens every time – that bond starts traveling up the lead and to the Pet Partner at the other end. The beauty of Pawsitive LivingTM is that the dogs are the relationship facilitators – they are safe to connect with and it gives the adults in the room time to prove themselves to the kids who might have trouble trusting grown-ups. The other beautiful thing is that, while we are there to provide services to the kids – they in turn end up providing services to us. The group discusses this phenomenon each and every time. We walk in there each week after long days filled with work, family, responsibilities, crises and situations – and we walk out filled with love, gratitude and respect for the spark of divinity we find in each of the boys we serve. It is nothing short of miraculous what happens in these twelve-week sessions- big, furry, hairy happiness. -Jan Hofman


Funchee The world said goodbye to Funchee, Hand in Paw’s most recently registered therapy cat, in July. Natalie Crowe, Funchee’s owner, tested with her in late spring. Funchee’s time as a therapy cat might have been short, but it was certainly not without meaning.

Natalie and Funchee visited with a woman who had, in Mary’s experience serving as a Therapy Visit Assistant, only been interested in therapy dogs. When Natalie put Funchee in this woman’s lap, it reminded her of her own beloved childhood cat, which triggered vivid memories from days past – some tragic, some inspirational. Regardless, Funchee’s presence enabled this woman to be open and honest while being comforted by one of Hand in Paw’s therapy cats.

Natalie and Funchee were able to visit only one time at St. Martin’s in the Pines, but that visit was so powerful that long-time volunteer and former employee of Hand in Paw, Mary Phillips, had to share her observations.

Everyone is familiar with the phrase, “Quality, not quantity.” It certainly rings true when it comes to Funchee’s short career as a therapy cat.

“Some handlers go through an entire Hand in Paw career without experiencing such profound interaction,” she said.

“She was only able to go on a few visits with Hand in Paw, but I think she really enjoyed her experiences and I think she brought joy to a lot of people we visited. She was a very special cat,” Natalie said.

Internship Opportunities Hand in Paw is looking for interns! Non-paid internships are available for college credit in our Programs, Volunteer, and Marketing & Community Relations Departments.

Programs Department- In this area, you will work with our partner facilities and help strengthen and evaluate the programs we offer (Petscription, Pawsitive LivingTM, and Sit, Stay, Read!). You will also gain experience in grant writing. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to Programs Director, Liz Wilson, at Volunteer Department- The Director of Volunteers is seeking an intern for general assistance, which could include assisting with incoming phone calls/emails, general administrative duties and hands-on help with our handler-animal team evaluations and training sessions. Candidates should be outgoing, friendly and able to work in a fast-paced environment. This internship would be excellent experience; you will learn how non-profits work, and gain a great deal of knowledge on the power of the humananimal bond. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to Director of Volunteers, Candice Armstrong at Marketing & Community Relations Department- This internship will give you excellent experience in the areas of social media, event planning, press-release & newsletter writing, as well as developing new effective marketing, media, and promotional campaigns for Hand in Paw. Depending on the time of year, you will help plan either our summer charity auction, Picasso Pets, or a spring fundraiser, Mutt Strut: Dog Friendly 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run. Candidates must be able to work under a deadline. Experience in Adobe Creative Suites would be preferred, but not neccesary. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to, Marketing & Community Relations Head, Paige Staylor at paige@

All interns are required to work a minimum of 15 hours per week, Monday through Friday plus any additional hours during special events. Each internship should average about 240 hours (or whatever is required by the accredited college or university).


For questions about becoming an intern, please contact us at 205.322.5144.

Hand in Paw’s Largest Fundraiser Was a Huge Success!

Hand in Paw held their 11th annual fundraising event, Picasso Pets, on Saturday, August 20th, 2011 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center.

The evening began with an opportunity to browse the silent auction accompanied by live music by jazz band Soul Therapy, an open bar and passed appetizers. Following the silent auction was a seated dinner, featuring a three-course meal. The ballroom was a beautiful sight, covered with sunflowers, which is Hand in Paw’s new signature color. Presentations were made by those whose lives have been enhanced by the positive effects of Hand in Paw’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams. The night’s main event, the live auction, included one-of-a kind pet paintings. At the evening’s close, guests had the opportunity to donate money directly to Hand in Paw’s programs. “The night was a huge success. Not only did we raise much needed funds, but now even more people in the Birmingham community know about Hand in Paw and the important work we do. It is my hope that people walked away inspired and captivated by what our volunteers provide to those who are in need of our services,” said Scott Grover, President of Hand in Paw’s Board of Directors. The auctioneer had the whole audience captivated by the unique pieces of art. Besides the pet paintings, Picasso Pets auctioned a trip to The Columns in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland. The top selling item of the night was the chance to have your pet be the marketing image for the 2012 Picasso Pets. By the end of the night, more than $250,000 was raised for Hand in Paw. Hand in Paw relies on fundraisers like Picasso Pets, charitable donations, and grant monies to fund our work. “WOW! What a great Picasso Pets – it was such a well-organized and fun night. Hand in Paw is incredibly thankful for such a supportive Board of Directors, a great staff, and phenomenal volunteers! A very special thanks to Tina Willard, the 2011 Picasso Pets Event Chair; Honorary Chairs, Idie and Chris Hastings; Sponsorship Chair, Mallie Ireland; Auction Chairs, Denise Hoyle and Melinda Carter; and Hand in Paw’s Paige Staylor,” said Kitty Terry, Executive Director of Hand in Paw.

This year’s Tweety Lasker Award recipient was Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center. For eleven years, Glenwood has hosted Hand in Paw’s Pawsitive Living™ program in its group homes for children and adolescents. This honor, given in memory of Tweety, Katie & Jim Lasker’s beloved greyhound, will ensure that Hand in Paw can serve people through our programs in the years to come. We are very grateful to the Laskers for their dedication to Hand in Paw’s mission.

Official Sponsors: Van Dog- $5,000 Amsource The CW 21 & My 68 FlexDigital Framin’ Shoppe George W. Barber, Jr. Foundation HomeTown Mortgage John 3:16 Sheryl & Jon Kimerling Dr. Jim & Katie Lasker Debra Linton Pepper Place Veterinary Eye Care Warren, Averett, Kimbrough & Marino, LLC Wells Fargo Advisors zeekee interactive Dogvinci- $3,00 Alabama Power Company Balch & Bingham, LLP Burr & Forman, LLP Karen & Jim Cunningham McPherson Oil Joy & Emmet O’Neal The Thompson Foundation Dogas- $1,500 Brookwood Medical Center BlueCross BlueShield of AL Children’s Health System Anne & Benny LaRussa Phyllis McCombs PricewaterhouseCoopers Red Diamond, Inc. Riverview Animal Clinic St. Vincent’s Health System Joan Stelling Picatso- $500 America’s First Federal Credit Union Mary & Chris Boehm Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC Britt Animal Hospital Maggie & Will Brooke Hala & Steve Brown Jennifer Buettner & Ernest Bates Crispin & James Cantrell Cobbs, Allen & Hall Exceptional Foundation First Commercial Bank Mr. & Mrs. John Haley Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Ireland II KBR Regions Bank Lynn & Benny LaRussa Mayer Electric Supply Co., Inc. Heather & Phillips McWane Lisa & Charlie Miller Nelson Brothers, Inc. Moses & Luke Peel Christi H. Read Betsy & John Saxon Sherri & Pete Van Pelt St. Martin’s In The Pines Sterne Agee Karolyn & Lee Wangstad Betty & Jim Warren Mr. & Mrs. Mel York


HIP Brothers and Sisters

If you examine the back story of HIP therapy dogs, you’ll discover that often the impulse of their Pet Partners to help others began closer to home. It’s no different with the four special dogs highlighted here - with the intrigue that they are two sets of siblings! Juletta Quarles started partnering with Bailey at almost the same time that her son Adam began his journey with Tok (rhymes with ‘oak’). Meanwhile, Sandra Gillis and Pet Partner Josie, a three-year veteran, discovered that sister Millie and Liz Young lived less than two miles away and were just beginning their Hand in Paw experience. For Juletta and Adam, it started on a 5,000 mile trip back from Alaska. Adam had decided to make a career change and move back to Birmingham. Mom Juletta was so ecstatic, she flew up to fetch him and “dangled the carrot” of getting him a dog as a homecoming present. Adam chose Tok’s name before he chose him, when they drove through Tok (which means ‘peaceful crossing’), Alaska. Juletta had recently lost her precious dog Maggie, so it seemed serendipitous when husband and father Bobby located a Golden Retriever breeder in Birmingham. Within weeks, invoking the ‘no dog left behind’ rule they had picked up brothers Bailey and Tok. The path to pet partnership suddenly became alarmingly bumpy. First, poor little Tok had surgery for bilateral elbow dysplasia. Tok bravely recuperated. He and Adam were ready for their pre-evaluation, when further obstacles loomed. Adam’s doctors discovered a growth in his brain, and he had to have two craniotomies, the last one at Duke. Adam says today that one of the few things he remembers from the ICU was a therapy dog named Hummer who put his big paws on his bed. For Sandra Gillis, the ‘closer to home’ part of her story had been building up. Sandra, a Therapy Visit Assistant, was longing for her own dog to partner with and had her heart set on a black Shih-Tzu. No road to happiness is without its bumps, the breeder said yes, then the breeder said no-- she wanted to keep the adorable female for her own. Thanks to some bullying litter mates, she finally told Sandra she could have the runt of the litter. Maybe her early history is what makes Pet Partner Josie (named after Josephine Baker) so empathetic. Little did Josie know, that her sister Millie would follow in her paw-steps. One morning on a jog, Sandra’s husband Sam ran into an eerily familiar looking black Shih-Tzu and her owner. After the usual meet and greet, it became clear that this little dog, Millie, and Josie were littermates! Through agility, obedience and socialization training, Liz already knew that Millie would make a great Pet Partner. One thing led to another and owner Liz Young followed Sandra and Josie’s lead. As it turns out, Liz’s motivation to get Millie in the first place had been to cheer up her teenage daughter. On the way home, she whispered in Millie’s ear, “you’re going to make people happy.” “And,” explains Liz, “that’s exactly what she does!” Today, Liz & Millie and Adam & Tok make people happy working with Pawsitive LivingTM at Glenwood and visiting St. Martins in the Pines. A professional photographer, Liz helped photograph many of the 2011 Picasso Pets painting sessions. Sandra and Josie enjoy outreach, visiting at St. Martin’s, St. Anne’s Home and the YWCA Family Violence Center. For the past three years, Josie has inspired students in the Sit, Stay, Read! program at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central. Juletta and Bailey visit St. Anne’s and found a place in the hearts of children this summer doing Sit, Stay, Read! at the North Shelby Library.’ - Sandra Gillis and Beth Bradley


Hand in Paw Contributions From May 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011 Hardin, Joy for Sandy Hawkins, Don & Gayle for Otis Malchus In Honor Gifts Heald, Bob and Betty for Mattie Whitsett American Marketing Association for Mandy Lamb Meredith Hilliard, Dr. Lee Michelle for Rocky Archibald, Julie F. for Connie Brimer Hurt, Cecil and Jacqueline for Annie Bachoffer, Ed and Nancy for Alma Ruth Jordan and Joy & Lewis, Feldman, Lehane & McAtee, LLC for Paul Frame Dixie Long, Ms. Carolyn for Carol Benners Garbutt Brookwood Medical Center Auxiliary for Volunteer teams Major, Mr. Fred for Priscella at Brookwood McFarland, Rebecca for Abby Fuller Frohsin, Carolyn M. for Jill Atlas McKee, Willis for Ginger Graham, William & Marynoel for Dr. Mark Monson’s bday McNair, Lisa S. for Abby Fuller & Carl Puckett Lewis, Feldman, Lehane & McAtee, LLC for Mildred Goodwin McNutt, Hershel W. for Chuck Maietta Lucas, Bill and Janet for Lynn LaRussa Miller, Carl and Gayle for Leonard Daniel Nortick, Raina for Jonathan Berkow Moneyham, Matt and Lindsay for Scarlet Marshall O’Donnell, Mr. & Mrs. Patrick for Camille, Jan and Nelle Moon, Ms. Susan R. for Domino Browning Osment, Mrs. Lamar S. for Preston and Kosmo Negrotto, Darlene for Phoebe Piola, Mariela for Marie Hill Neville, Mr. & Mrs. John for Scout Smith, Jerry & Jane for HIP Volunteers at the YWCA Nicholson, David and Kathy for Tucker Norman, Dennis and Rhonda for Chuck Maietta Norman, Mr. & Mrs. Paul for Chuck Maietta Parsons, Ronald and Mary for Boomer Payne, Jack & Suzanne for Ari Sobko In Memory Gifts Sontag, Craig and Jill for Chuck Maietta Agnew, Jay and Kelli for Master Huntsman Speed, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry for Malone Gillian and Allen, Henry and Betty for Mattie Whitsett Barney Markovitz Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness Clinic for Redd Dogg, Standifer Animal Clinic for their clients most beloved pets- Kira, Max, & Aspen Kirk Becker’s Meg, Scott Beshany’s Maggie, Kelly Binion, Lee and Ms. Angie Gray for Sonny Harris Boyd’s Finnegan, J.D. Bradley’s Roo Tankersley, Bratton, Bob and Lynn for Ret Marquitta Callender’s Ben, Alex Dearborn’s Zeke, Bullock, Sybil H. for Chuck Maietta Barbara Evan’s Shadow, Mike Fields’s Grady, Butler, Mark and Noele for Cowboy Johnson Teresa Fulmer’s Birdie, James Gewin’s Ralph, Jim Colangelo, Preston & Denise for Dorothy “Dot” Johnson Groom’s Cali, Heather Hardin’s Kitten, Linda Marx Collins, Deborah for Mary Jane Steel (Kathy Morlan’s moth- Keeble’s Black Jack, Khris McAlister’s Lilly, Stepha- er) from Rives SS Class -Dawson Memorial nie Morton’s Bailey, Meghan Ratliff’s Bailey, Randy Currie, Les and Tina for Abby Fuller Shunnarah’s Precious, Nancy Slade’s Boomer, Doggett, Katherine Alyse for Mattie A. Whitsett Elise Warren’s Hallie, Noel Watter’s Nevada, and Duke, James and Wilma for Mattie Whitsett Charlene Johnson’s Lacy Dunnam, James & Donna for Dixie Schilder Tanner, William and Joyce for Chuck Maietta Elliott, Glenda for Topaz Thompson, Mr. & Mrs. Gerald C. for Cowboy Thompson Elmore, James and Ann for Mattie Whitsett Velardo, Michael and Suzanne for Pat Helmers Finkel, Grace for Joyce Tyler Middleton Waitzman, Jim and Carole for Sissy Stewart Foley, Angela for Sam Ward, Cathy for Kaylee Fuller, Abby Fuller, and Lindsay Freeman, Susan for Chuck Maietta White, Mr. & Mrs. Gary for Charles “Chuck” Maietta Fron, David B. for Chica Woodard, Mr. & Mrs. Eddie for Kaylee Fuller Hand in Paw Staff for Sis Burleson


1912 14th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35205 T: (205) 322.5144 F: (205) 322.7784

2012 Picasso Pets Calendar Want to pre-order your 2012 Picasso Pets Calendar? Now’s the time! Our calendar is a colorful way to show not only what our largest fundraiser is about, but also to learn about Hand in Paw and what a difference we make in the community. We only order 500 calendars, so be sure to pre-order yours today! All you need to do is fill out the following form and mail it back to the Hand in Paw office (please see the address above). Hint: They make wonderful holiday gifts!

Name: ________________________________________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________ Phone: _____________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________________ City/State: _______________________________________ Zip: __________________________ Quantity: ____________ Price: $15.00 per calendar Please note that we will contact you when they arrive. At that time you will be able to pay for and pick up your calendars at the Hand in Paw office.

Hand in Paw Newsletter- Fall 2011  

Learn more about Hand in Paw and Animal-Assisted Therapy!