Gabriel’s Angels: Healing children through dogs - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Gabriel’s Angels: Healing children through dogs

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:00 am

When Ahwatukee Foothills resident Pam Gaber adopted her dog, Gabriel, in 1999 she thought she was getting a companion for herself, but over Gabriel’s 11 years of life he has helped more than 10,000 abused children discover compassion and love.

Gaber was a volunteer at Phoenix Crisis Nursery when Gabriel was a puppy, and the children she worked with at the nursery loved hearing stories about her big gray dog.

“I brought Gabriel dressed as a reindeer to a Christmas party at the nursery, and I noticed that with the presence of this gentle gray dog the children were kind and loving, which is not how victims of abuse usually act,” Gaber said. “He brought out a soft, loving side of the kids.”

After leaving the Christmas party, Gaber realized that she had the ability to help children in need, and the organization Gabriel’s Angels was born.

“Victims of abuse and neglect lack compassion and empathy, but once the children learn to trust the animal they learn compassion,” Gaber said.

According to Gaber, because the abused children have suffered at the hands of humans, dogs are able to help children in a way even well-meaning humans cannot.

“Human beings represent everything evil to these kids because they have been neglected or abused by humans,” she said. “They look at me and don’t trust me, but they look at Gabriel or another dog and there is a special connection.”

The therapy dogs and their owners who work with Gabriel’s Angels are registered with Delta Society or Therapy Dogs Inc., both of which properly train dogs to deal with children.

“The two organizations register, evaluate and test the dogs with the owners to make sure they are predictable and have a good temperament,” Gaber said. “Once they are registered, they have $1 million of liability insurance whenever they visit children.”

Gabriel retired in January because he is fighting a recurring cancerous tumor.

“He has inspired people to volunteer with their dogs in an arena they would have never set foot in,” Gaber said. “Even though child abuse is so difficult to be around, people can help when they see the power of their animal healing these kids.”

Hundreds of Valley residents have volunteered with Gabriel’s Angels, and according to Gaber the popularity of the organization has grown through word of mouth and media coverage.

“Our volunteers have had the beautiful experience of watching their dog help children who have shut down their emotions because they have been so traumatized,” she said.

Leslie Sonnenklar, who sits on the board of Gabriel’s Angels, said she is fascinated by the effect dogs have on children.

“Seeing a kid smile, pet the dog, listen to the dog’s heart and understand that it’s a living being is amazing,” Sonnenklar said.

Gabriel’s Angels is sponsoring a Doggie Beach Party this Saturday, Feb. 27, in Scottsdale at the Franciscan Renewal Center. The beach party will feature more than 30 vendors and have contests for dogs and activities for children.

“It’s a really fun event that helps raise money for Gabriel’s Angels,” Gaber said.

Admission to the event is $20 for adults and $10 for children. The party will begin at 10 a.m. on the east lawn of the Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive. People are welcome to attend with or without their canine companions.

For more information on Gabriel’s Angels, visit www.gabrielsangels.org or call (602) 266-0875.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley Jr. to be freed after 35 years

John W. Hinckley Jr. will be released from a government psychiatric hospital more than 35 years after he attempted to assassinate president Ro…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 7:51 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety…

Normandy, Istanbul, Dhaka, Nice, Baghdad, Orlando: WHY?

Peter Bergen: Recent terrorist attacks have claimed lives in France, Iraq, Bangladesh and the U.S., among other countries He says the problems…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 7:49 am @ http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/26/opinions/why-terrori…

New Kyrene superintendent’s motto: Work hard, be nice

When Kyrene School District Jan Vesely officially began her duties July 1, the first item she hung on her office walls was not one of her many…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 7:51 am @ http://www.ahwatukee.com/back_to_school/article_2f…

An All-Seeing Eye In The Sky Will Watch Over The Rio Olympics

When the Olympic Games begin next month in Rio de Janeiro, billions of people are expected to watch athletes from countries around the world c…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 7:13 am @ http://www.fastcompany.com/3062179/rio-olympics-su…

Would-be Reagan assassin John W. Hinckley, Jr., to be freed after 35 years

John W. Hinckley, Jr., will be released from a government psychiatric hospital more than 35 years after he attempted to assassinate president …

Published: July 27, 2016 - 6:20 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety…

Cruz, advisers collide over high-stakes GOP primary

Ted Cruz isn’t just colliding with Donald Trump since the Republican convention. He’s also at odds with some of his own advisers. At issue: a …

Published: July 27, 2016 - 6:15 am @ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/huelskamp-ka…

Suspects sought after string of robberies, including carjacking

Police are searching for suspects who took part in a crime spree in Phoenix and Tempe overnight.

Published: July 27, 2016 - 5:48 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/…

Gino's East to open Phoenix location

The headline on the website says it all: Gino’s East deep dish pizza is coming to Phoenix!  Yes, Valley residents will soon have another place…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 5:50 am @ http://ktar.com/story/1196671/more-deep-dish-pleas…

Is Tim Kaine liberal enough?

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton’s campaign wants to sell Tim Kaine as a “progressive” who can both get things done and broaden the party’s appe…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 5:20 am @ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/tim-kaine-cl…

Additional forest restrictions being lifted in Arizona

PHOENIX - Additional fire restrictions are being lifted in Arizona due to moisture and higher humidity levels provided by the summer monsoon. …

Published: July 27, 2016 - 5:20 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/state/additional-forest-…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…