Dog Therapy for Youth

Therapy Paws uses trained canine-volunteer handler teams to provide youth calm and safety as they face life's uncertainties. Our handlers and their highly trained, loving canines encourage a feeling of security for traumatized and stressed children in our community. 

Where We Serve

Our four-legged therapists work in various settings, each tailored to provide the most beneficial and nurturing environment for children of different needs and circumstances. Some examples include:

Courts: For a child to appear in court as others decide their future for them is intimidating and overwhelming. Our dogs provide victim youth a sense of calm and safety in the courtroom.


Schools: Our canines work with children with special needs, offering emotional support which can enhance social interaction and learning experiences.


Hospitals: In hospitals, our therapy dogs visit pediatric wards to provide comfort and distraction from medical procedures. Their presence can reduce stress and pain perception in children undergoing treatments.


Foster Care group homes: Our dogs visit youth in group homes to offer affection and friendship as these youth grapple with separation from their families and friends. 

Join Our Team

Interested in learning more about how you and your canine can bring calm to a child in crisis? Click the link below!

Our Beginning, Olive's Story

From hopeless and homeless, Olive was rescued from the streets in Los Angeles by Brandon McMillan, host and animal trainer of the Emmy Award winning CBS show, Lucky Dog. Lisa Groves Bax, a child advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system, saw the need for a resource to assist the scores of children facing the daunting task of appearing or testifying in court. After extensive training with Brandon McMillan, Olive was united with her forever family in Missouri in 2016, and ready to live her purpose, certified therapy dog.

Since that time, there have been increasing requests for Olive’s presence not only in the courtroom in Cole County, but statewide in courtrooms, hospitals, child group homes, and other places assisting with child trauma and stress. Therapy Paws formed to build upon Olive’s impact and add more therapy dog/handler teams to bring comfort to children during challenging times.