Paws to Learn Program

BluePath is a nonprofit organization providing autism service dogs, offering safety, companionship, and opportunities for independence. Prior to placement in their forever homes, BluePath dogs engage with the community via the Paws to Learn Program, in which they provide therapeutic support in schools, camps, residential homes, and day-habilitation settings.

Paws to Learn partners report that BluePath dogs provide emotional support, assistance with mood regulation, opportunities for social engagement and connectedness, and increased physical activity. UCLA Health research confirms that animal-assisted therapy lowers anxiety, provides comfort, and increases mental stimulation. A UC Davis study found that students who practiced reading skills with classroom dogs increased fluency by between 12 and 30 percent.

Please note that BluePath’s Paws to Learn Program is fully booked through June 2024

About Us

BluePath dogs are purpose-bred from our own breeding program or through partner organizations; they possess superior health and temperament that give them the best chance to be successful in their future careers. All our dogs receive thousands of hours of obedience training and socialization and possess a robust reference library of sights and sounds that empowers them to encounter the world calmly and confidently.

Dogs participating in the Paws to Learn Program are typically Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, and Labrador-Golden crosses. They are aged 18 to 24 months and have reached Training Level FT2, at which time they are close to their final career placement.

All training occurs under the supervision of Caroline McCabe-Sandler, a master-certified guide dog mobility instructor with over 30 years of experience. Caroline has lectured around the country, with highlights including Yale University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, and Rochester Institute of Technology. She is also the recipient of a NYC medal of honor for training Salty, a guide dog who safely led his handler out of Tower One on 9/11.

Testimonials

“My students look forward to making connections with the dogs by reading to them, walking them throughout the building, and snuggling with them. The Paws to Learn Program is top notch and brings great energy; our learners are so lucky to be a part of it.”

“It is empowering for the kids to feel like they are helping the BluePath dogs with their training. The kids have learned about how service dogs help people and they have also grown in their understanding of people with disabilities. We enjoy our visits so much!”

“The participants in our adult day habilitation program love when Paws to Learn comes to the building. Individuals who otherwise are uninterested in connection and programming are up out of their seats to see the dog. It’s heartwarming to see how calming the dog’s presence is. The trainer is always wonderfully kind to everyone; she knows the individuals and what they might benefit from - sitting with the dog, walking the dog, keeping a distance but bringing attention to the dog. We are so pleased to have this opportunity!”

Current Paws to Learn Partners

Please note that BluePath’s Paws to Learn Program is fully booked through June 2024

Paws to Learn Programming is currently available in Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester Counties.

  • Anderson Center for Autism

  • Community Based Services

  • Dobbs Ferry School District

  • Ramapo for Children

  • Rye City School District / Rye Police Department

  • Southern Westchester BOCES

Paws to Learn’s fee-based programming supports BluePath’s mission of providing life-changing service dogs to autism families, free of charge.

Interested in BluePath dogs visiting your facility?

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