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A Tribute to Toby

Leah Masal
Pet Partners Handler
person with their dog
person with their dog

In 2018, Leah (12), and Toby (3), became known as one of the youngest therapy animal teams in the nation. For 6 years, Toby shared his gentle and loving personality with others through every visit.

therapy dog on a visit at a school

Toby attended multiple events with Aetna, including the Autism Speaks Walk and Stand Up to Down Syndrome Walk. He traveled to URI and Salve Regina to participate in stress relief events for finals week. Additionally, Toby participated in multiple Read With Me events at local Elementary schools.

With the help of her principal and health teacher, Leah was able to add a therapy animal lesson to the health curriculum in her school to ensure that therapy animals would continue to be taught about in the classroom. Toby visited her high school frequently to raise awareness of what therapy animals do, and how they can help with mental health. He did visits with not only students, but the teachers and staff as well.

In April of 2021, Toby and Leah participated in Pet Partners signature fundraising event, Treats & Sweets Day, where they raised over $400. They were also featured in a Pet Partners Facebook Live, where they explained how they had used Treats & Sweets Day to raise awareness of the human animal bond in their community.

Leah is so thankful for the unique experiences she had with Toby during her time as a therapy handler. She loved Toby so much and was so proud of him for all that he accomplished. She will continue to share Toby’s legacy and the importance of the human animal bond with others.

Rest in Peace Toby, you will be missed.

Toby Pet Partners Facebook Live link