Zero the Therapy Dog

July 24th, 2019

ZERO, South Mountain's own Therapy Dog is Making a Difference in the lives of our youth!

After a two year training period, specific to our at-risk youth population in residential care, Zero became a registered therapy dog through Pet Partners. Zero and his handler, our own Amy Randt, successfully passed the evaluation to become a registered therapy dog team in November 2018. Since then, Zero has visited with 500 youth in our Abraxas South Mountain programs. Zero participates in the "Read With Me" program in which kids will read to him. Some visits are one-on-one visits with youth who are struggling and other times Zero does small group visits. Our youth sometimes help with grooming and each visit is educational in nature as Amy discusses dog behavior, AKC "How to be a good citizen with dogs" and other topics. They often talk about Zero's latest venture.... swimming lessons. Amy uses this as a clinical bridge for the kids as they discuss how Zero has been struggling with swimming and how he is learning to overcome his fear. At the end of each visit, the kids each get a keepsake, which is always a vibrant print of Zero and his latest adventure! Our kids have been involved every step of the way and have been instrumental in the process of Zero becoming a registered therapy dog!