pawprint WHAT IS A THERAPY ANIMAL ?pawprint


     Many people confuse Therapy Dogs with Service Dogs. Service Dogs give assistance to disabled individuals. They are specially trained or in the case of "Alert" dogs show an ability to alert an individual of the onset of a seizure. Service dogs are granted legal access to all public places with a few exceptions(hospital surgical areas and zoos). They are granted this access through the Americans with Disabilities Act . You can find out more about Service Dogs at the Delta Society Web Site .

Service dog etiquette

  Therapy Dogs and other therapy animals are family pets that are trained and registered or certified through therapy organizations. They are only half of the therapy team. The handler is the other half. Therapy teams enter nursing facilities, hospitals, schools and other facilities by invitation or prior approval. Therapy animals do not have legal rights.

   Therapy animals are used in a variety of healthcare and educational situations. They can range from social visits at nursing facilities to helping in physical therapy/rehabilitation. They are used in special needs classrooms, regular education classrooms, and residential school settings. Activities involving therapy animals are usually classified as AAA(Animal Assisted Activities) or AAT(Animal Assisted Therapy).


Katie poses with certificate

    Dreamworkers, Inc. Therapy Animals are dogs and cats that have completed the process of being certified through Dreamworkers, Inc. These animals are originally
screened for suitability and then complete

a course of certification that involves several levels
of testing. During
this process potential therapy teams
are mentored by Dreamworkers
members who help with
supervising visits. After completing the certification process new members may then make visits and pursue areas of animal assisted therapy that interest them or that they feel they are best suited.

   Once certified most Dreamworkers Therapy Animals make weekly visits to nursing facilities in the Paulding, Douglas County area. These animals, including a few special cats, share smiles and joy with the elderly, sick, and disabled individuals.  In addition to group visits to local nursing facilities, we have members who make in-home visits, hospice visits, public school visits, and library visits. Some animals are more suited to certain types of settings, and we try to match the team to the proper setting.

Laura greets Rocky, the Great Dane
School children measure dog.
Dogs visit nursing facility resident

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