Woodside Girl Scouts huddle and cuddle with Minnie the therapy dog


Giddy Girl Scouts lined up in Woodside Elementary School's library on March 27 to meet the Palo Alto Humane Society's resident therapy dog Minnie, a 6-year-old white poodle.

Leanor Delgado, the Humane Society's education manager, talked to Girl Scout Troop 61714 about how to be responsible pet owners and the society's animal advocacy work. She covered topics such as microchipping pets so they can be scanned and returned to their owners if they get lost, and the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

After the discussion, the third-graders took turns petting and holding Minnie. The poodle joined the Humane Society with her owner Arlene Esquivias, the organization's head of social media and office manager, when the two moved from Southern California to the Bay Area earlier this year. Minnie had previously served as a therapy dog for children with cancer at a hospital in Southern California, Esquivias said.

The meet-and-greet with the dog helps children learn how to bond with, and care for, an animal, Delgado said.

The visit was part of the Humane Society's PAWS 2 PAHS community visits program, in which volunteers visit classrooms with companion dogs, or trained therapy or service animals.

The Palo Alto Humane Society is a nonprofit that strives to "alleviate the suffering of animals, increase public sensitivity to animal issues, and elevate the status of animals in our society," according to its website.

For more on the nonprofit's educational work, go here.


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