Goodyear Mutts on a Mission nonprofit seeking volunteers

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Does your dog need a job?

Mutts on A Mission, the only non-profit therapy dog group in Goodyear, is looking for well-behaved dogs and their owners to join the organization’s mission of making a difference in the lives of people by visiting patients or reading with children as part of a registered therapy dog team.

Two years ago, Mutts on A Mission started a new focus with the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) Program that strengthens students’ literacy skills at the third grade level. This program is in 23 countries with more than 5,000 teams working in schools and libraries.

Therapy dog group members sit on the floor in a quiet space with a third grader reading out loud to the therapy dogs. This is called Animal Assisted Education, directed by an educational professional with test scores compared at the beginning to the end of the school year. For just one child the comprehension and fluency improved 400 percent during the school year.

The therapy dog teams commit to reading with the same child every week. Due to the generosity of the Goodyear PebbleCreek Rotary, Mutts on A Mission buys books for children at the Barbara B. Robey, Litchfield Elementary and the Odyssey Preparatory School for the R.E.A.D. program. The Mutts are planning a back-to-school kickoff event 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Goodyear library, 14455 W. Van Buren St., Suite C-101.

Residents are invited to stop by and meet the Mutts in action during the group’s literacy mission with children reading to dogs every Saturday.

“It’s amazing to watch the children’s eyes light up when they see the dogs,” Mutts On A Mission president Kathleen Molony stated. “They are so comfortable reading to them.”

Each day Mutts teams visit the Cancer Treatment Center of America, Abrazo West Campus Hospital, The Groves, The Southwest Family Advocacy Center, Grandview Terrace and Childhelp along with the Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye and White Tank Libraries.

Call 1-844-FUR-HUGS or 844-387-4847, email info@muttsonamission.org, or visit muttsonamission.org .

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