Handi-Dogs President and CEO JoAnn Turnbull is the first speaker for a new series of talks about the important role of dogs in people’s health and well-being starting next week in Green Valley on Thursday (Jan. 4).

Established in 2012, the annual series of four talks is a collaboration between the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), the local Area Agency on Aging for Pima County’s older adults and family caregivers, and the Green Valley Recreation Inc.

The goal is to understand the benefits of positive interactions with animals in our lives, and that research is recognizing the impact the human-animal bond can have on individual and community health.

Lectures take place at 10 a.m. at the East Social Center at 7 S. Abrego Drive.

What: Local experts will explore the benefits of the Human-Animal Bond and expand our knowledge of the interrelationships between people, animals, and their environment.

Where: The East Social Center Auditorium, a Green Valley Recreation Inc. facility, in Green Valley at 7 South Abrego Drive.

Lectures start at 10 a.m.:

  • Jan. 4: Handi-Dogs President & CEO JoAnn Turnbull will present a talk about owner-training for dogs to be service, assistance, and therapy and companion dogs. She will also talk about the importance of public awareness and understanding about the important role of dogs in people’s health and well-being. Established in 1973, the longstanding non-profit human services organization helps older adults and people with disabilities gain independence and improve their quality of life through specialized training of dogs and to advocate about the important role of service dogs.
  • Feb 1: The Mutual Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond. Representatives from The Animal League of Green Valley and Handi-Dogs, Inc. will co-present about therapy dogs and inform people how they might volunteer with their pets in this capacity.
  • March: The Impact the Human-Animal Bond can have on Individual and Community Health Representatives from The Pima Alliance for Animal Welfare (PAAW) will discuss the role of this volunteer organization working toward ensuring that all Pima County companion animals have a loving home and humane care. An initiative of Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA), the volunteer group currently has three focus area: a trap/neuter/return program for community cats; a marketing campaign to adopt locally, culminating in a mega adoption event every year; and a program to help housebound older adults and disabled individuals get what they need for their pets.
  • April 5. From Shelter to Service A panel of representatives from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) and The Animal League of Green Valley (TALGV) will discuss what’s happening at each of their shelters and how people can get involved.

Adina Wingate can be reached at Pima Council on Aging in Tucson at (520) 258-5067 or email awingate@pcoa.org Also, learn more at Details are online at www.pcoa.org.