Respits: Comfort Pits
As an organization dedicated to bully breed dogs, our volunteers, fosters, adopters and supporters know first-hand how wonderful our dogs are. They cuddle with our children, defend our homes against wayward leaves, and weigh our blankets down so they don’t fly away. But even we encounter prejudice. People cross the street when they see us coming. They roll up their windows when we pull up to a red light. They confront us at adoption events. Just as we are committed to these pups, so are we committed to fighting breed stigma.
And so, Respits was born! We bring our dogs to schools, nursing homes, libraries, etc., to show the world that the dogs they have written off actually have plenty to offer. Our pitbulls are affectionate, soothing and eager to strut their stuff. The foster parents and adopters that drive them around are kind and devoted.
Launched in February 2017, Respits has two goals. The first is to get our dogs out into the community to show people that they do not need to be afraid. And second, to offer comfort to people who need it.
Many research studies have demonstrated the benefits of animal-assisted activities for people of all ages. Spending time with a dog can help to improve social skills, increase self-esteem and teach empathy. They calm fears and ease stress. The following list of benefits has been adapted from the Australian Companion Animal Council:
- Physical – Interaction with an animal reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, encourages movement and stimulates the senses.
- Emotional – Visiting with dogs improves self-esteem, enhances mood and elicits laughter.
- Social – A visit with a dog provides a positive a mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater feelings of well-being, and offers focused interaction with others.
- Cognitive – Interacting with a dog stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing behaviors.
Programs like Respits can help children and adults to cope with a wide range of challenges, from anxiety to bullying, anger management to speech impediments. Let us show you how!
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“The Peace for Pits program has become very beneficial for our residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. It has a very calming and soothing effect on our residents. The smiles are contagious and the dogs seem to love visiting our residents.” – Kristen L. Kostal, Programs Director, Terra Vista of Oak Brook Terrace