Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings

November 2021

It’s the end of the year and we are closing out and saying “Goodbye” to 2020. We are wishing you all a very happy 2021!
Ready to learn click here for more info about our group classes!

Founder's Note

Hello Angels,

My wish is that your Thanksgiving was a blessing to you and your family.  
What comes to mind this time of year is the word grateful!  
We often hear the word grateful being tossed around but when we look at the definition, it’s a feeling of being appreciated or a heartfelt experience.  I’m grateful for each and every one of you!  It sometimes may not feel that way but I appreciate you, for allowing us to be a part of your life with your four-legged kid, your hours of volunteering to help us, and the hours you give to our community to bring smiles through waggin tails.
What are you grateful for this year?

As always Pawsitively,
Stephanie Gerken

Assistance Dog Program

“Fun Fact” 

Assistance Dogs are not pets.

Assistance/service animals are defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. These hard-working dogs undergo hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of hours of training. Their training includes basic obedience, intermediate and advanced skills, public access training, and job-specific task training. Each Assistance Dog’s task training varies to match their human partner’s unique needs.

Are you and your dog ready for an emergency?  See below for a few tips.

Our Assistance program trains and provides dogs for people with disabilities - sometimes visible and sometimes invisible.

"Get Involved"
Therapy Dog Program

Did you know?
Therapy Dog: a pet dog trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to those it interacts within many different settings. Therapy Dog owners may volunteer their time to visit with their animals in facilities in which the team is welcomed or maybe practitioners who utilize the dog in a professional setting.
Check out our
Get Involved Spotlight below!
Sherri Becker and Thor
Happy volunteers! 
We had a great time out at the park and a great lunch provided by our leader Stephanie! She got together with some of our Admin volunteers and celebrated the great work all of you guys do!  We highlighted the launch and push for our “Get Involved” program and how important each and every one of you are to helping Michael’s Angel Paws in our communities. We had a bit of a Halloween party and costume contest! Our judges were brought in especially for the event and they had a very difficult time in deciding on a winner.  

Community Dog Training Program

How to “stop” your dog from barking annoyingly?
When your dog is barking, say “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice. Wait until they stop barking, even if it's just to take a breath, then praise them and give them a treat. Just be careful to never reward them while they are barking. 
Sounds easy?! Give us a call, we can help!
Call us (702)658-0148.
Get to know our Canine Coach
Melissa Parker
Our programs offer our very best in dog training to the Las Vegas community. We train Basic Obedience to Advanced Obedience, AKC Certified Canine Good Citizenship (AKC/CGC), and train teams to join our Therapy Dog Program.
Are you and your dog ready for an emergency?

If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for them either! Just like you and your family, we all should be ready for any unexpected situations that may arise. Michael’s Angel Paws has gathered some general information for our teams to consider when preparing for those unexpected circumstances that may catch us off guard or in an emergency. 
Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit or assemble an emergency kit for your pet.
Your kit may include:
Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
Food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.
Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.
A first aid kit.
Medications and copies of medical records are stored in a waterproof container.
Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost.
Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian.
Make an evacuation plan.
Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian. 
Know a Safe Place to Take Your Pets. Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters, or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Have current and up-to-date vaccination records. 
Perhaps designate a “second” family member or close family friend to handle your dog if you are unable to handle your dog.
Prepare a list with phone numbers and instructions about your dog’s needs. 
If your dog needs to go somewhere different for a short period, your dog should be prepared and accustomed to such changes.
Include your pets in emergency drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly or going to a “different” house for extended periods of time and or with other pets. 
Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs are wearing collars with securely fastened up-to-date identification. 

"Get Involved" Spotlight

Volunteering as a Therapy Dog team with Thor (my dog) has been one of the most rewarding things I have done since I moved to Las Vegas.  I have been to many places such as Paws and Relax events, health care, and educational events, but none have been as rewarding as my regular time at Southern Hills Hospital.  
Let me share a story about one visit.  There was a patient who was angry, cranky, verbally unkind with the nurses and, she would not let the nurses put an IV in her arm.  Her nurse asked Thor and I to visit her.  We walked in very sheepishly and weren’t sure how well we would be received.  Well, she took to Thor immediately.  In fact, she asked if he could sit on her bed.  Thor was so excited to curl up next to her, and the next 10 minutes were monumental.  She slowed her speech, became receptive to the IV, and began to relax.  This is just one success story.

-Sherri Becker and Thor

We are growing and are always looking for help!

Opportunities in:

Assistance Dog Program
Puppy Raisers

Therapy Dog Program
Therapy Dog Team Members

Community Dog Training Program
Social Media

Would you like to "Get Involved"? Send us an email.

 “Get Involved” provides volunteer opportunities through which you can support Michael’s Angel Paws, give back to the community and be an advocate for everything Dogs. 

"Canine Coach" Spotlight

Born and raised right here in the city, Las Vegas is extremely close to my heart. I grew up a shy girl surrounded by the animals I loved such as dogs, cats, hamsters, and rabbits. They were my closest friends. But, I also found adventure while hiking and turning over rocks in the desert for the ever-elusive horned toad, scorpion, or snake sighting. Not much has changed. I have a bearded dragon now, 13 different tarantula species, a cat named Chilly Dog, and my dogs who are everything to me.

We have our little house where we have fostered several homeless animals who needed a place to decompress. Some never left, as their struggles were deeply rooted. Rescue work has been incredibly rewarding. But, it has also taught me how important training is to keep dogs in their original homes with the families who love them. This is what inspires me to work hard, learn more, and face new challenges every day.

I actually came into the dog community a little later than most. I enjoyed a career in the hospitality industry most of my adult life. However, in 2012, I decided my life needed a major overhaul. I really wanted to contribute to the world. I was encouraged to dream big, so I did. I knew I wanted to be in a position to help people and animals. After some time, being an Assistance Dog Trainer was the answer. It seemed lofty and unrealistic. But, in 2014, with some luck and help from others, I began working with a knowledgeable trainer to begin the transition into the dog world. I also devoured all books recommended to me in an effort to develop and grow. In 2015, I left my other career to concentrate on my canine studies. I assisted in Assistance Dog classes, tagged along during agility classes, and also worked as a daycare/Bootcamp supervisor for several years to learn all I could about body language, appropriate play, and social structure in the dog world. I have also attended several animal behavioral conferences. I am currently an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, an Associate Trick Dog Instructor, and CPDT-KA.

My goals are to educate and encourage all owner/dog relationships to work as teams so they can learn, have fun, and grow their relationships and communication skills daily. This keeps families happy and keeps pups in their homes where they belong.

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