The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected therapy animal visitation. As 2021 approached, we recognized that risks and restrictions won’t necessarily be going away completely, and therapy animal visitation will need to adapt to the new reality in sustainable ways. We also recognized that the need for therapy animal visits is only going to increase, which means increasing the number of registered therapy animal teams. Meeting these goals requires innovative thinking and new approaches.
Plus: Combatting social isolation and loneliness through the human-animal bond, 2020 Magic Award recipient, successful advocacy, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought major challenges to Pet Partners and our mission; we had to find new ways to provide the benefits of pets to people. In this issue we outline our response to the effects of the pandemic, introduce animal-related engagement, and share ways that therapy animal teams have continued to provide the power of the human-animal bond to their communities.
Plus: The protective power of therapy animals in times of crisis, bringing AACR to healthcare workers, We Are All Ears, and more.
Pet Partners volunteers bring a wide range of experience and expertise to their work in support of the human-animal bond. We profile handler and team evaluator Jane Kopelman, who also works in the realms of animal rescue and educational design as part of her efforts in AAI, along with Dr. Scott Weese, veterinary advisor to our Therapy Animal Program.
Plus: Research on AAI and children with autism, the 2019 Magic Award recipient, Meet the Pets at the U.S. Capitol, and more.
One of the things that has kept our Therapy Animal Program vital is our ability to respond to developments in the field of AAI and bring therapy animals to new applications. In recent years there’s been increasing call for therapy animals to respond following crisis situations. Pet Partners determined that it was time for us to create an animal-assisted crisis response program.
Plus: The 2019 Pet Partners conference and professional summit, 2nd Annual World’s Largest Pet Walk, Veterans Administration agreement, and more.
When someone says, “therapy animal,” most people will immediately think of dogs. But dogs aren’t the only species that can provide the life-changing eﬀects that come with the human-animal bond. Pet Partners has long recognized this, and we’re proud to register nine types of animals as part of our Therapy Animal Program.
Plus: Expanding AAI research beyond dogs, 2018 Magic Award recipient, National Therapy Animal Day, and more.
In late 2016, Pet Partners received a grant to explore the possibility of expanding internationally. Through our international pilot program, the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program is exploring opportunities in various countries across the globe.
Plus: Emerging research on therapy dogs, Better Cities for Pets, the inaugural World’s Largest Pet Walk, and more.
Pet Partners introduced Walk With Me, a new program initiative to encourage walking and movement, in September 2017. In less than six months, our teams have embraced this idea and are making use of this initiative in many ways to improve human health and well-being.
Plus: Animal-Assisted Workplace Well-being, Steve Dale on walking with pets, National Therapy Animal Day, and more.
Coconut had been surrendered to the shelter by his previous owners because they didn’t have time to care for him. They had kept him confined in a basement, without much attention or exercise, and when Elizabeth met him he was bowlegged and missing a lot of hair. Today, Coconut is a superstar therapy animal visiting hospitals, cancer patients, and reading programs.
Plus: the 2017 Pet Partners conference, Steve Dale on adopted rescue pets, HABRI and a shared vision for the human-animal bond, and more.