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The UNC Paws program is all about helping individuals with mental health issues though the use of animal companionship. However, sometimes those individuals can not afford to properly take care of their new furry family members because of poor funding or homelessness. This is why the Center has partnered with the University of Tennessee to provide veterinary support to individuals and families.

AlignCare is the National OneHealth healthcare system, designed to increase access to veterinary care for pets and leverage community resources to keep families and their pets healthy and together. The program helps families whose pets are in need of sick or injury care and who participate in meanstested assistance programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, HMIS, Free/Reduced school lunch, or Section 8. The program pays 80% of the veterinary bill services, including prescription medicine and prescription food.

The mission of the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health is to treat the “whole person” be they human or animal.

UNC PAWS is an innovative community-based recovery and rehabilitation program that uses non- traditional interventions to assist individuals living with psychiatric disabilities, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and post-traumatic stress. Clients from the UNC Center of Excellence in Community Health trained shelter dogs in performing basic obedience skills, with dogs ultimately being placed in forever homes.