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WHATVolunteer pet handers and their pets visit elderly Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Hospitals and Hospice to provide animal assisted therapy.
WHYTo engage elderly in stimulating, interactive nursing home activities. To provide seniors with companionship and access to pet therapy and it's benefits on overall well being.
WHEREWags for Hope.
Frederick, Maryland, USA.

Program Description

"Therapy animals and their handlers are trained to provide people with animal contact. They are the personal pets of the handlers and accompany their handlers to the sites they visit. Animals must meet specific criteria for health, grooming and behavior."

In order for dogs to visit nursing homes and other facilities they must meet specific requirements. Dogs must have basic obedience, be calm and good natured, be at least one years old and have lived with their owner for at least six months. Pets must be up to date on all shots and a rabies certificate must be provided. All dog and cat breeds are welcome to apply.

The "Wags for Tails" Program requires that dog owners and dogs attend an orientaion, are trained and pass a pet visiting evaluation before starting the program.

Children are allowed to make visits along with pets as long as an adult is also present. The intergenerational visits and activity provides benefits for both seniors and children.

Therapy animals and pet handlers are trained on how to provide people with beneficial animal contact. Please note that Therapy Dog Programs are different from Service Dog Programs which help the elderly or disabled with day-to-day task or errands.


Therapy Dogs International Nursing Home Program - Across the USA and areas in Canada. Provides free visits of dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospices and other facilities to provide regular animal assisted therapy, an interactive nursing home activity and to give companionship to elderly.

Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program - Program widely available across the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and several other countries.
Trains pet owners and pets on how to visit nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, physical therapy centers, long-term care facilities and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Dogs Inc. Program - Program available across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories. Provides registration, support, and insurance for those involved in volunteer animal assisted activities.

Pets on Wheels Program - Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Providing regular animal assisted therapy through pet and dog visits to nursing homes and assisted living by trained volunteers and approved pets.

FriendshipWorks PetPals Program - Boston Massachusetts, USA. Arranges for pets (cats and dogs) and their owners to make friendly visits providing animal assisted therapy to elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
Certified pet handler volunteers take their pets to visit elderly in nursing homes providing animal assisted therapy.

New Orleans Visiting Pet Program - New Orleans, USA. Animal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and other facilities.

Austin Dog Alliance Pet Therapy Training Program - Austin,Texas. Provides training to pet owners and their dogs to visit local nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Pet Pals of Texas Program - Texas, USA. Places trained volunteer pet handlers and pets in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, State and County facilities and other special needs environments.

Intermountain Therapy Animals Program - Utah, USA. Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy teams visit seniors in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Alzheimer's Care Units, Hospitals, Veterans Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Centers and many other facilities.

Terminally Ill & Their Pets
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly

Find out more about the "Wags for Hope" Program

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