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Event Series Event Series: Read with Petey, the library dog

Read with Petey, the library dog

June 27, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Washington Park Library – Children’s Area

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Join us weekly for our reading program with the very special Petey, the therapy dog. Children of all ages can work on their reading skills by reading aloud to Petey, who loves all books especially the illustrations! Petey loves to provide cuddles, comfort and kisses as well for the emotional support aspect of a therapy dog.

Who is Petey? 

Petey is a 5-year-old mixed breed bundle of love rescue dog that we met in June 2019. He came to us from Tennessee well-trained and well-behaved, and from the moment we got him home it was clear to us that he was glad to have adopted us. What was also clear was that he loves every person and every dog he meets, so in the Fall of 2019, we started training him to become a Pet-Assisted Therapy Dog. When COVID hit our plans were put on hold until the Fall of 2022 when we enrolled in the Windwalker Humane Coalition’s Professional Pet-Assisted Therapy program at Providence College. Petey earned his certification in May 2023. 

Petey will let you pet him, he’ll give you kisses if you want and will sit next to you if invited. He absolutely loves to be next to you and believes everyone he sees really wants and needs to pet him! 

Who are we? 

George Sarganis. MEd and Claire McWilliams, MEd, EdD are married and have a combined total of 78 years of experience as teachers of students K-12 and college. We’ve been lifelong dog owners and at one time had three at once. We believe that dogs have great healing powers and have the power to bring joy and peace to anyone who puts in the effort to get to know them. We, along with Petey, have completed the following training:

  • Petco Good Citizenship pet training (2019) 
  • Windwalker Humane Coalition Professional Pet-Assisted Therapy (2022 – 2023) https://windwalkerpettherapy.org/ (Certification expected May 2023) 

We have done visitations with many residents at the Waterview Villa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center where Petey quickly became everyone’s pal. He has done training and internships at Elmhurst Nursing Center, Kent County Courthouse, and interactions with children and teens at public libraries in several communities in Rhode Island. 

What is Pet-Assisted Pet Therapy? 

Animal-assisted therapy, also known as pet therapy, uses dogs and other animals, including horses, to help people as they recover from physical and mental health conditions. The companionship of the animal has proven benefits in both medical and psychological work. 

Animal-assisted therapy has proven benefits based on modern scientific research. Researchers have found a direct connection between interacting with animals and enjoying positive health benefits. These animal therapy benefits include mental health, physical health and skill improvement. 

For most people, the presence of an animal prompts the body to release serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin. These hormones generate a relaxation and stress-reducing response, according to UCLA Health. This hormone release can lower symptoms of depression and sadness, helping support good mental health. 

Contact Information 

For more information on how to bring Petey to your organization for some heartwarming interaction contact us using the email address below. Petey.therapy@gmail.com 



June 27, 2023
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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Washington Park Library – Children’s Area
1316 Broad Street
Providence, RI 02905 United States
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(401) 781-3136


Amy Rosa
(401) 781-3136