Professor Paws is back! The intrepid team teaches local families about the joy of companion animals and responsible dog care

05 March 2021

Some say you should never work with animals or children, but our fantastic Professor Paws team does both ... at the same time!

A team of eight canine Professors visited a parent-child group in the city of Guangzhou, which is located northwest of Hong Kong SAR, to share the joy of animal companionship and to teach responsible dog care.

The children and their families watched our award-winning film “Cat and Dog Welfare around Us”, played games and of course, got to meet the stars of the show! At the end of the session, three of the children presented what they had learned and enjoyed from the day. 

Professor Paws was launched by Animals Asia in Hong Kong in 2004 to help children overcome their fear of dogs and learn about responsible pet care and ultimately, compassion for all sentient beings.

The Professor Paws team consists of staff, volunteers and 200 registered therapy dogs, and together they run one-hour lessons over four weeks, with the children graduating as “Pet Cadets”.

Many children in China have never encountered dogs as companion animals before, having grown up with the belief that they are dangerous street animals, so are often scared of the dogs during their first lesson.

As Karina O’Carroll, Animal Welfare Education Manager who runs Professor Paws and its partner programme Dr Dog explains:

“Many children in Asia grow up being told that all dogs are dangerous. To combat this misconception, we bring Professor Paws assistance dogs to local schools.”

By the end of the programme, the children are feeding, brushing and walking the dogs, and are often very sad to say goodbye to their new furry friends.

Karina continues, “through Doctor Dog, we have been able to play a part in building confidence, reducing fear and enabling behavior change in children and their parents – and it’s all through positive interaction with our registered therapy dogs.”

Through programmes like Professor Paws and Dr Dog, the other companion animal programme we run, attitudes towards dogs and cats in China are changing. The next generation is learning that animals have needs, wants and emotions, just like us, and that a world where we live in harmony with our fellow sentient beings is a better and kinder one. 

Read more:

Professor Paws | Dr Dog