Russell Todd Crawford serves the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area with psychotherapy that promotes finding solutions to life issues. Convinced of the abilities of animals to assist in healing, Russell Todd Crawford donates to the Richmond, Virginia, SPCA.
To facilitate this treatment, the Richmond SPCA offers its Paws for Health program. For over a decade, volunteers have been taking dogs to local retirement centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. The program was founded by a doctor who spent a year researching methods and standards of pet therapy.
All dog breeds are eligible. Dogs must be at least one year old and spayed or neutered, and their handlers must be at least 16. Children under 16 may accompany a handler if the child is sufficiently mature.
To help prepare dogs, the Richmond SPCA provides obedience training, such as the Canine Manners class, where volunteers learn basic commands. Another course, Tricks for Treats, helps dogs learn 15 entertaining tricks.