In her book, Pound for Pound, San Diegan Shannon Kopp shares her empowering story of how animals, particularly Pit Bulls, played a key role in her self-discovery and healing from bulimia. Setting out on a mission to help others, Kopp launched the SoulPaws Recovery Project – a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing peace and well-being to humans struggling with eating disorders.
As part of their mission to inspire eating disorder recovery and mindfulness through human-animal connection, SoulPaws offers free animal-assisted therapy workshops to those impacted by anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating and other eating disorders. One-on-one time with animals is a key part of each workshop, along with journaling, meditation and group sharing. The goal is to create a safe space for emotional vulnerability and truth-telling, and to remind participants of the companionship and support that animals provide.
“In my own life, despite years of therapy, a trip to rehab and an embarrassing amount of time spent in the self-help section of my local bookstore, I did nothing but continue to grow sicker until shelter dogs came into my life. Then, everything began to change,” says Kopp, whose job working at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA gave her the courage to heal and embrace self-forgiveness.
In order to give back to the animals, SoulPaws is working to build a foster team to care for shelter pets in the San Diego area until they are able to find forever homes. Some of these animals will also participate in SoulPaws Workshops.
Visit soulpawsrecovery.org to learn more.