Building a compassionate community
through the care of companion animals


Pawsitive Tails 

Animal Assisted Activities Program 

The Pawsitive Tails Program is designed to improve the quality of life of people through controlled interactions with specially trained and certified animals and their handlers. 

elderly_man_and_petThough dogs tend to be the most common species involved with AAA programs; cats, bunnies, potbellied pigs and even miniature horses have been highly successful participants.  Retirement facilities, schools, mental health facilities and a variety of other service organizations have clients who can benefit from AAA programs.

Pawsitive Tails partners with a variety of human service organizations throughout DeKalb County, providing scheduling of visits as well as training and certification of AAA pets and their handlers.  Don’t worry if your dog isn’t certified – we can do that for you!   

For more information please contact Leah at 815-758-2457 x. 117 or

Do you know the difference between a service dog, therapy dog and an emotional support dog?

There is much confusion these days over the term “service dog”.  Claiming your dog is a service dog is no small thing, as it can effect the reputation of service animals everywhere.  We’d like to clear up some of the confusion about different titles for dogs.

Service Dogs:  A dog is considered a service dog under the law when the dog is trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate a person’s disability, whether psychological or physical. Not only must the dog be able to do a specific job, but it needs to stay under the handler’s control at all times and be able to mind it’s manners.  These dogs ARE allowed by law to go into public places with their owners.   Examples are seeing eye and seizure alert dogs.

Therapy Dogs: Provides comfort to people, particularly in hospitals, nursing homes and schools. While these dogs receive training on how to handle themselves in public and around people, they are not trained to help with a specific disability.  These dogs are NOT allowed by law to go into public places.  Our own Pawsitive Tails program works with these types of dogs.

Emotional Support Dogs:  Pets that provide a high level of comfort to the owner and do not need any special training.  These dogs are NOT allowed by law to go into public places.  However, a person whose doctor has recommended an ES dog can have their pet living with them, even in housing that has pet restrictions.  But you can’t bring you dog into grocery stores or restaurants.

For further info please refer to the following article:





Tails is Hiring!

We are hiring an Animal Care Tech for limited weekday morning cat care/cleaning. For questions, or to apply, please email Jenni at

Tropical Tails tickets on sale now!

Our annual dinner/auction gala, Tropical Tails is on Sat Mar 10 in DeKalb. This event raises much needed funds for the hundreds of animals in our care. Early bird pricing ends on Fri Feb 16! Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Last updated 2/13/18