Local News


Animals helping Las Vegas valley children overcome obstacles

Posted at 9:00 AM, Jul 14, 2017

A new partnership is using animals to help children overcome obstacles.  A local therapist is now using Great Danes to calm, motivate and teach kids. 

Legacy Health Centers helps kids struggling with behavioral issues, mental health concerns, or PTSD. They just partnered up with Sin City Great Dane Rescue to use the dogs in therapy sessions.  The partnership is called Las Vegas Animal Assisted Therapy.    

"It helped me interact with other people," says Daniel Flores, who has a degenerative eye disease. "I was interacting with the dogs, so it helped me interact more with people." 

With other types of therapy, a child can feel self-conscious since all the focus is on them.  At Legacy Health Center, and with the help of the dogs, the focus shifts. Studies have shown that therapy dogs can improve self esteem.  

"Dogs give them unconditional love," says clinical therapist, Sheri Sotelo  "Dogs don't see diagnoses, dogs are able to love them no matter what.  

The new partnership also helps the rescue dogs.  Many of them have been abandoned or abused, and through the therapy sessions, the dogs become more adoptable. 

"The love that they show the, helps build confidence for the kids, as well as for the dogs," says Robert Payne, with Sin City Great Dane Rescue.