Thumbnail Image

Helping Paws: The Fostering Friendships Initiative

Trees, Alexa E
An average of around 415,000 children and youth reside in the United States foster care system at any given time, and the number of animals in rescues across the U.S. sits at about 7,000,000. Both groups have something in common. In one way or another, both groups need healing, normalcy, comfort, and structure. With Wyoming having the smallest population out of all states in the nation, one may believe that the issues surrounding children in foster care and animals in a shelter situation are less than those in surrounding states. This is not the case. In reality, the number of children in foster care in Wyoming is readily comparable to those in other states. For many years, articles and research studies have been produced showing the importance of a child having an animal in their life while growing up. It gives these children and youth a sense of responsibility and purpose while also giving them a companion. After researching for days any organizations that may provide a bridge between children in foster care and animals in a shelter situation, all searches came up empty. There was nothing filling this void. This is where Helping Paws: The Fostering Friendships Initiative comes into play. A business plan was created to bring this non-profit organization to fruition. Through the use of training programs, agility programs, hiking outings, and more, Helping Paws aims to bring together children in foster care with local rescue animals. The goal: create bonds, create healing, and give hope.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Wyoming. Libraries