Gabriel’s Angels is the only program in Arizona that inspires confidence, compassion and best behaviors in at-risk children through pet therapy. Gabriel’s Angels was formed in 2000 out of a pressing and documented need in the community to intervene in the lives of at-risk children. Our short-term goal is to instill in children an overall emotional sense of well-being, safety, and happiness. Our long-term aspiration is to help children learn critical core social skills necessary for a brighter, productive future.
Currently, we provide pet therapy services to 122 partner agencies free of charge and serve over 14,800 children annually through 185 registered Pet Therapy Teams. Teams, consisting of a registered therapy dog and owner, visit crisis nurseries, domestic violence and homeless shelters, group homes, and at-risk children in after school programs and self-contained classrooms. Our efforts are to enhance their emotional and behavioral development by teaching core behaviors such as trust, empathy, and respect.
Pet Therapy Team visits are usually to groups of 10 – 12 children every week or every other week. In response to requests from our partner agencies, Gabriel’s Angels began a program expansion in 2012 to provide specialized one-on-one services through Individual Interventions. Individual Interventions are now available in metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.
Partner agency staff members offer thoughts on the work of Gabriel’s Angels:
Gabriel’s Angels provides a non-threatening venue to learn self-control and sensitivity.
South Pointe Elementary School
With the animals, Florence Crittenton clients are put at ease and feel able to express emotions in a safe and non-judgemental settings. The girls look forward to the visits throughout the week, and even draw pictures for the dogs. Many of them have photographs of the dogs in their rooms.
Ashley Faye, Volunteer Services Manager
Our kids are more willing to accept the feelings of others and share space with new peers and adults.
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse