WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WSYX) — Pathways to Independence of Central Ohio is making it their mission to help adults with special needs transition into the workforce through their dog daycare. The nonprofit agency is connecting adults with pets and building a "happy place" to help them learn essential life and job skills.
The agency opened in Worthington back in 2014 with the goal to build bridges for adults with disabilities.
"We're thinking about what individuals with disabilities really like and what they're really good at and really tuning into their strengths through dogs," Stephanie Sanzo, president and co-owner of the organization said.
Sanzo and her co-owning partner Megan Ramage found the need after both serving as school teachers.
"We had a couple of kids that we just knew, 'what are they going to do after high school?'" Ramage said, "Because there weren't many places for them to go and challenge them and learn these job skills."
The dog daycare works with over 80 dogs daily and employs over a dozen interns who assist with grooming and cleaning up the dogs.
Intern Chasity Andy looks forward to working every day.
"It's like Christmas all year long," Andy said, "it's like a concert of dogs."
Both owners find what helps their staff is connecting with every pet.
"The feeling is contagious," Ramage said. "They all want to be, all the kids want to be around and hold every dog and love every dog."
Sanzo has seen growth with their agency over the years and looks forward to continuing the impact.
"Them working side by side with our kennel staff, you wouldn't know the difference," Sanzo said. "And that's what they want and that's a beautiful thing to see, that they are just one of our crew members."
To learn more about Pathways to Independence of Central Ohio and their efforts, click here.