Empathic Paws & K-12 Schools

Empathic Paws

& K-12 Schools

Empathic Paws & K-12 Schools

The Research

Dr. Jessica Maricevic’s (2022) qualitative research suggests the use of animal-assisted therapies, like the use of therapy dogs in secondary settings, benefits not only the adolescent learner, but the organization as a whole.

School Culture & Learning Environment

The Plan

Under Jessica’s guidance, Empathic Paws will collaboratively develop a researched-based plan for implementing an animal-assisted therapy and intervention program, like the integration of therapy dogs, to meet the identified needs of the learning organization. The Plan may include, but is not limited to:

Dismantling Misconceptions

School-Based Crisis Preparedness & Response

School Culture & Learning Environment

Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Competency Development

Let’s connect.


Operation Empathic Paws:

Our Empathic Commitment

“Socio-economic status should not determine whether an organization implements an animal-assisted therapy program.”

— Dr. Jessica Maricevic

Empathic Paws believes socio-economic status should not determine whether an organization implements an animal-assisted therapy program, like the use of therapy dogs in secondary schools, for the physical, mental or emotional benefit of students and stakeholders.

As with any initiative, there are cost factors, some of which are unanticipated. Those unanticipated factors, even if hypothesized during the early stages of the implementation process, may jeopardize the implementation process of a program, as well as the overall sustainability of the animal -assisted therapy program.

Operation Empathic Paws (OEP) aims to fully establish and support all components of the therapy dog implementation process for secondary schools with a high poverty designation (as determined by the National Center for Education Statistics), at no cost to the school.

Be the first to know about the launch of OEP, school candidacy considerations and other ways to support this important equity initiative! Complete the form below:


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