Bonnie Winsor Behavioral Specialist, NeuroRestorative Rhode Island
Grant Recipient, The Little Rhodie Bully Breed Club
Bonnie Winsor is a proud member of The Little Rhodie Bully Breed Club (LRBBC,) an organization dedicated to aiding shelter pit bulls in Rhode Island. The club works to educate the public on this breed of dog by providing educational workshops, trainings and demonstrations on how pit bulls can be trained into good companions and pet therapy dogs.
Bonnie became involved with LRBBC in 2013 when she began training dogs through the club’s Dynamic Dog Training program. Her own dog, Heidi, went through the program and received her ACK Canine Good Citizenship certification, enabling her to serve as a fully certified pet therapy dog. Upon gaining this certification, Bonnie began a partnership between the LRBBC and NeuroRestorative Rhode Island by bringing Heidi in to provide pet therapy for individuals with brain injury at 3 NeuroRestorative locations. Using games and exercises specifically designed to strengthen memory, motor skills and affection, Heidi provides a very unique kind of therapy to the individuals served.
In addition to her therapy work with the dogs, Bonnie fundraises for the club and promotes awareness of pit bulls in need of homes. This past May, Bonnie and Susan Parker, the President of The Little Rhodie Bully Breed Club, presented the benefits of pet therapy to hundreds of participants at the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island’s Annual Conference in Warwick, RI. Bonnie also works with Susan to coordinate events such as the organization’s first annual “Pup Crawl,” an event that allows the public to visit various shelters and meet adoptable pets, with a party afterward to celebrate. The event was a huge success, helping place 10 dogs in adoptive homes.
The Little Rhodie Bully Breed Club will receive a $500 grant from The Foundation in honor of Bonnie’s volunteer spirit and hard work.