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In June 2004, Dr. Felton conducted a small research project for her Master's of Arts in Applied Theology degree.  In this small study a registered-Pet Partners* dog was integrated into a series of prayer-service faith-sharing sessions conducted over a five-day period in a parish setting for the benefit of independent elders. This new form of ministry/pastoral care was generally accepted as beneficial, for those who attended found a safe place to connect to God through theological reflection on the scriptures of world religions and their own pet stories. 

The CAM/PS Model formed the basis for Dr. Felton's dissertation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary (now the Portland Seminary). Over nine months (2010-2011), Dr. Felton conducted a qualitative study at Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, OR, where she developed a training manual on dog ministry for directors of spiritual/pastoral care for healthcare facilities using the CAM/PS Model. The result was the "Four-Footed Ministers Pastoral Care Program."

*The Delta Society changed their name to "Pet Partners" in January, 2012.



Resident, Barbara and Caterina, Jerilyn and Alya
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Photo by Tom Miller, 2011