Minal Kavishwar pioneers pet therapy and Animal-Assisted Counseling in India through the Animal Angels Foundation.
In this 57th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I talk with Minal Kavishwar, the founder of Animal Angels Foundation, about her amazing work bringing pet therapy and Animal-Assisted Counseling to India. Minal tells how she created Animal Angels in 2003 and did the first research on animal therapy in India with her therapy dog, Kuti.
During our chat, Minal explains how important it is to have good resources and mentors in animal therapy. She talks about her relationship with Dr. Cynthia Chandler and how it helped her career. We also discuss her experiences working with therapy dogs that belong to other families, building strong connections, and making people more aware of their abilities.
Minal shares heartwarming stories, like a child with Down syndrome learning to walk with a therapy dog named Genie. We also talk about making sure therapy dog training is consistent and how the Pet Partners program is known around the world.
Near the end of our conversation, Minal gives helpful advice for people who want to work with therapy animals. She says it’s important to pick the right resources and focus on natural connections. We also talk about how animal therapy in India is growing, including the new idea of working with therapy cats.
By the end of this episode, you’ll learn a lot about Minal’s experiences bringing pet therapy to India and her ongoing work to grow Animal-Assisted Counseling through the Animal Angels Foundation.
In this episode, we discuss …
- Where Minal sought out research on Animal-Assisted Interventions.
- What it is like to partner with Therapy Dogs who do not live with her.
- How she continues to pioneer pet therapy and Animal-Assisted Counseling in India.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:27] Minal tells us about herself and starting Animal Angels Foundation in 2003 when animal therapy was a new idea in India.
- [02:33] Minal says her research with her first therapy dog, Kuti, was the first of its kind in India.
- [04:43] Minal talks about meeting Dr. Cynthia Chandler and how it helped her career.
- [07:27] The conversation highlights how important resources are in animal therapy.
- [10:37] Minal shares her story of training Kuti and what Kuti taught her about therapy dog training.
- [13:03] Minal remembers working with comfort dog programs at Mumbai International Airport.
- [14:22] We discuss making therapy dog training consistent and how the Pet Partners program is known worldwide.
- [16:51] Minal tells a touching story of a child with Down syndrome who learns to walk with help from a therapy dog named Genie.
- [20:33] Minal talks about Goldie, a trailblazing therapy dog, and her work in different animal therapy programs in India.
- [23:18] Minal shares how therapy cat work is becoming a new part of animal therapy in India.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!
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