Partners in the Fight for a Better Life
For over 30 years, Therapy Dogs International has coordinated efforts to affect truly positive changes in the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.
With volunteers in every state in the union, this non-profit organization is the largest therapy animal group in the world. In 2007, their numbers included over 18,000 registered dogs and approximately 15,000 trained handlers. And these numbers do not include working therapy cats, rabbits and birds, which are becoming increasingly popular.
To be approved for therapy work, these animals must pass numerous behavioral tests and be evaluated by a certified evaluator. These tests help to determine whether the dogs are equipped to handle sudden movements, loud noises, the presence of canes and wheelchairs, and the company of children, just to name a few.
More and more, people – many of whom never had a pet – are experiencing the love and attention of a companion animal. And, for those who are no longer able to have a companion animal of their own due to diminished health, these visits are especially meaningful and welcome.
The aim of these therapeutic encounters is to bring joy and comfort to those who need it most, including people of all ages who are in mental health counseling programs and institutions, undergoing physical therapy, participating in reading and speech programs, and living in senior care facilities.
If you are interested in doing therapy work with your companion animal, we encourage you to visit the Therapy Dogs International web site at www.tdi-dog.org, or call them directly at 973-252-9800.