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The Good Dog Foundation

May 5, 2020

In times of stress and instability, pets bring their people immense comfort and play an important role in improving their mental health. Embrace Pet Insurance, one of the nation’s top-rated pet insurance programs, is launching a social media campaign in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May to educate Americans on how their pets can improve their mental health. The campaign encourages pet parents to share on their Instagram, Twitter or directly to Embrace’s Facebook how their pets have positively impacted their mental health using the hashtag #PawsitiveEffects. For every use of the campaign hashtag, Embrace will donate $5.00 to The Good Dog Foundation — with the goal of raising $5,000 during the month of May.

According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), one in four adults live with a mental illness, but over 60 percent of those reported less stress, a new sense of purpose, an easier time forming connections and more physical activity in their day-to-day lives thanks to their pets.

“Embrace is excited to partner with The Good Dog Foundation during May in support of Mental Health Awareness Month,” said Brian Macias, President of Embrace Pet Insurance. “It’s important to shed light on the comfort and support pets give us, especially as our world is changing in such dramatic ways. Our hope is to bring positivity in times of mental strife while supporting an organization that fully endorses the human-pet bond.”

Founded in 1998, The Good Dog Foundation trains volunteers and professionals to provide therapy dog visits to help people heal and cope. The Good Dog teams have logged more than 30,000 hours annually at hospitals, schools, nursing homes and community organizations across New YorkNew JerseyConnecticut and Massachusetts. The organization is continually innovating and developing programs to reach new groups that can benefit from dog animal therapy. One of their current studies, “Parenting, Prison & Pups,” aims to provide female inmates with parenting training through service dogs to help enhance their bonds with their children and reduce recidivism.

Rachel McPherson, Good Dog’s Founder and President, added: “Well-trained therapy dogs can produce feelings of joy and safety in people, which we have never needed more than now. While in-person visits are suspended during the pandemic, Good Dog is using Virtual Therapy Dog Visits to help our frontline healthcare providers and others struggling with trauma and isolation. Embrace Pet Insurance and all those participating in this campaign are throwing a critical lifeline to people in need.” Since its inception in 1998, The Good Dog Foundation has had a singular mission – using Animal Assisted Intervention to help children and adults heal from the trauma of disease, disability, and disaster. Our healers are extraordinary dogs and their human handlers. Some are volunteers who help people in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and more. Others are professionals – educators, healthcare providers, criminal justice workers and the like – who want to team with a dog as part of a professional practice in what is known as Animal Assisted Therapy or Animal Assisted Education. They all turn to Good Dog because of our devotion to safety and best practices in teaching therapy dog teamwork. In addition, The Good Dog Foundation invests in scientific research, partnering with major academic and medical institutions. As a result, we are helping advance Animal Assisted Intervention in the U.S., where it is now widely available to enhance the efficacy of traditional therapeutic approaches to human healing and learning.

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