Training man

Pay it forward | The QC Canine Assistant Network trains therapy dogs

Angie Hall is the President and Master Trainer of the Quad and Cities Canine Assistance Network, the only American Kennel Club-certified QCA-certified therapy dog ​​organization.

Moline, Illinois – Angie Hall is the president and head coach of the Quad Canine Assistance Network for Cities (QC CAN)501c3 and the only American Kennel Club approved therapy dog ​​organization in the Greater Quad Cities area.

Angie participated in QC CAN in 2012 with her first hunting dog, Mater, whom she rescued from a shelter and nursed back to health. She notices he has a way of connecting with people and decides that this is how she will be able to give back to her community.

Unfortunately, he passed away recently. But now, she has two mates, Sally and Mo, who are hounds, and Oliver, a black Lab.

“Any dog ​​can be a therapy dog ​​as long as they have a good temperament, which means they don’t mind being around different people, they don’t mind being around different dogs, they’re calm and easygoing,” Hall said. It doesn’t matter if it’s a young puppy or an older dog. Any dog, of any breed, can be a therapy dog.”

Variety in dog sizes and personalities is very important to the different group and types of people they serve.

“Some people like small dogs, some people like excited dogs, some people like big dogs, and some people like quiet dogs,” said Hall. “So it’s good to have a mix that we can share with the community.”

“I got involved because my mum was living in IRC at the time and I wanted to be able to take my dogs there to see her and visit with her,” said Monica German of QC CAN.

After her dogs, Kona and Stormi, get the training they need, she decides to stay and join the organization.

Just to see what benefit it brings [and] joy to people. “In nursing homes, they just light up,” said the German. and children. They love to read to dogs. This gives them lots of practice reading while reading to the dog.”

The family environment created by Hall is another reason German stayed with the organization after her training ended.

“I like to think of us at QC CAN as family, so everyone is family to me and we can relate to each other,” Hall said. our community. We make a difference in each other’s lives, too.”

One of the most impactful things Monica has experienced since working with the organization are trips to mental health facilities like Eagle View Behavioral Health.

“It’s great to see therapy dogs working in mental facilities and helping children and adults. This is one of my favorite places to go,” Allman said.

QC CAN is heavily involved in outreach programmes:

There is the Reading Dog Coalition, which helps improve children’s reading and writing skills by assisting therapy teams registered as literacy mentors. Therapy dogs and their handlers go to local libraries and schools throughout QCA.

“Dogs don’t judge, they just listen. So, it doesn’t matter whether children are good readers or not,” Hall said. “Dogs are there to be a calming presence and to encourage children to open up… Some children never read aloud, but they do when There shall be a gift of a dog.”

There are helping dogs at rest homes, events and schools. With these events, having a therapy dog ​​can reduce the emotional weight people experience, recovering from injuries or loneliness. Therapy dogs can help brighten and elevate patients’ mindset to the point of recovery or even personal growth.

“We train our dogs to be calm and relaxed in almost any situation. And that calmness helps bring peace to people who visit with dogs,” Hall said.

In the Crisis and Trauma Assistance Program, dogs are trained to provide comfort and emotional support to people affected by the effects of crisis events. They provide relief to those who have been affected by natural or man-made disasters or technology. Therapy dogs are not mental health interventions, but they can provide support in the immediate aftermath of a crisis through listening, empathy, and sharing unconditional love.

As mental health has become more widely understood and prioritized in recent years, QC CAN has seen an increase in applications.

“We do a lot of visits to mental health facilities across the region,” Hall noted.

The organization organizes an average of two events per week. They usually do three to four hundred events a year and this year, they might break that average.

Hall said: “I believe everyone has a purpose and everyone can make a difference. And I’ve found that in QC you can not only help those in our community, but also our members, give them the opportunity to make a difference, help them find their purpose, and look at work that everyone can do.” In QC to do, help change our society. Everyone could use a little more smile than laughter in their life and that’s what we can offer to society with our therapy dogs.”

If you want to participate in QC CAN, you can do so through qccan.org.

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