Facility Dog Teams



Certification: FD-RFD

Team Since: 2018

Barb Kucera

Barbara Kucera is a dental hygienist that practices with Smile Cabarrus in Harrisburg, NC. Barbara’s daughter, Katherine, was in the Service Dog Training Program (SDTP) at UNCW. During UNCW school breaks Katherine brought home each dog she was helping to train and Barbara witnessed firsthand how these amazing dogs transform lives. In December 2016, while attending the paws4people Annual Family Reunion, Barbara learned about Facility Dogs and a dream and vision of a dog working with her in her dental office began to form. She researched and found that dogs (mainly Therapy Dogs not highly trained Assistance Dogs) had been used in the dental field before but it was not common or widespread. In April of 2017 she applied for a paws4people Facility Dog that would work with her at her dental practice to mitigate the symptoms of dental anxiety for her adult and pediatric patients. She has a long term goal of helping facilitate the use of Facility Dogs as standard protocol in dental practices across the U.S.

ATKINS will be a staff member at Smile Cabarrus and will go to work with Barbara each day. The Animal Assisted Intervention provided by ATKINS will create Deep Pressure Therapy for her patients. This is proven to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and mitigate symptoms of anxiety. Dental visits can be especially challenging for individuals with disabilities, PTSD and those on the Autism Spectrum. Having ATKINS assist during these dental visits will greatly reduce the anxiety level of these patients. ATKINS will visit local schools and assist with dental screenings. Working in a dental office can be fast paced and stressful. ATKINS will spend time with staff members helping them decompress and relax after a long workday.

Sweet Smiling ATKINS and her loving personality will transform hundreds of lives. Thank you for donating to our team so we can help another individual or facility receive an Assistance Dog from paws4people.

Media Links

Utilizing A Facility Dog in a Dental Practice


PIF 1 measures funds and "non-cash" credit from Direct Client's or Handler's direct efforts up to the $10,000 PIF 1 Goal.




PIF 2 measures funds and "non-cash" credit from a Direct Client or Handler, which does not result from a Direct Client's or Direct Handler's direct efforts. Once a Direct Client or Handler reaches the $10,000 PIF 1 Goal, then ALL funds and "non-cash" credit are applied PIF 2.




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