City Partnerships and Programs Bring Youth and Seniors Together
By Carol Weemes
Posted on June 02, 2016, June 02, 2016

City Partnerships and Programs

High school seniors from Mansfield's Ben Barber Career and Technology Academy wrapped up their last day of an internship with Arlington Animal Services in a stirring experience. On May 20, these thoughtful senior students along with pet therapy super star canines Leroy Brown and Deacon, brought joy to the residents of Autumn Leaves of Arlington senior living memory care facility. Seniors of all ages shared in the delight of pet therapy, gift giving, dancing and more.

Handmade blankets and other gifts from students of Arlington Independent School District's Turning Point High School evoked smiles and excitement for the seniors at this special event.

Mansfield students in the shelter's internship program, Gabby and Bree, spent their entire school year working three to four days per week socializing animals, cleaning, and observing shelter dog behavior for their senior projects.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to see the joy the therapy animals brought to the elderly today,' Ben Barber Career Tech student, Gabby said. "The Arlington Animal Services (AAS) internship has been an amazing experience.'

English Bulldog Leroy Brown of Respect a Bull, Inc. along with AAS volunteer Susan Waits' pet therapy dog Deacon, visited with the seniors providing wet kisses and causing giggles to fill the room. Human interaction with pets can help reduce blood pressure and loneliness, and the sight of the dogs brought joy to our senior friends. Autumn Leaves of Arlington's Activity Director, Missy was delighted about the therapeutic visit.

"Every opportunity to spend time with our seniors and provide them pet therapy is a wonderful experience,' Animal Services Manager Chris Huff said.

Interested in more information about these programs? Contact Cheri Colbert at cheri.colbert@arlingtontx.gov, or by calling 817-459-6183.

View photos of the event.

Animal Services, News