Also on Pongo’s agenda: Helping our kids overcome learning disabilities and their fear of dogs.
“A lot of our kids come in years behind academically,” Gilardi says. “They’ll be able to read to the dog, which is a proven therapy for kids who have dyslexia. Plus, a lot of kids are scared of dogs in their neighborhood. Pongo can help relieve those anxieties.”
About Mercy Home for Boys & Girls
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (www.mercyhome.org) has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. Through its residential, aftercare, and mentoring programs, Mercy Home offers a safe home, emotional healing, education, and life-changing opportunities for more than 700 young people every year. It gives children who have suffered abuse, neglect, poverty and even abandonment the therapeutic, academic and vocational support they need to heal from the traumas of their pasts and build success for their futures. Mercy Home is 100% privately funded and operates at three locations in Chicago – a home for boys on its near West Side, a home for girls on its far South Side, and a home near its southern lakefront for former youth residents who are transitioning to independent adult living.
Source: O’Haire, M.E., Guérin, N.A., Kirkham, A.C., & Daigle, C.L., (2015). “Animal-Assisted Intervention for Trauma, Including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” HABRI Central (Purdue University). Retrieved from https://habricentral.org/resources/52067/download/hc_brief_trauma20150825c.pdf