THERAPET

Rating: 4.89 stars   37 reviews

Issues: Animals, Health

Location: PO Box 305 Troup TX 75789 USA

Mission: Therapet Foundation’s mission is to utilize specially trained and certified animals for the betterment of mankind by promoting health, hope and healing.  We accomplish this mission by: •Establishing & communicating standards of practice for use of specially trained animals in the healthcare setting. •Providing education to health care professionals and facility leaders. •Educating communities on opportunities and benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy. •Training, certifying, and assuring competency of human/animal volunteer teams.
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 75-2554185
903-574-1720
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The numbers of patients, staff, and visitors my dogs and I have touched by volunteering with Therapet over the last 16 years are uncountable. The miracle of healing, the restoration of hope and the advancement of health by bringing my animal to the bedside of a patient transcends words. Yet, I will try to share some of my most memorable moments I have been witness to by volunteering with my dogs for Therapet. An unconscious patient strokes my animal’s fur coat, making a "conscious" movement for the first time. A blind cancer patient recognizes my dog through only his touch. A child stops crying and smiles as my dog distracts her from the painful procedure. Her parent gratefully mouths thank you. A young boy gets out of his hospital bed to walk my dog for the first time since surgery. His nurses declare it a miracle! A stroke patient, struggling to regain their speech, is able to whisper the word squirrel. She smiles as my dog barks in response. These memories are but a few of the hundreds, possibly thousands of times my animals have made an impact on the life of another fellow human being. This organization has impacted me deeply. I am honored and humbled to be a part of Therapet and to share my animals in this most unique way of providing health, hope and healing .

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing health, hope and healing. Therapet is committed to the safe practice of animal assisted therapy. Their willingness to provide resources and establish standards has provided health care professionals with tools to assist their patients to heal.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

sharing my therapy dogs with others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome!!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Advance the science of the healing power of therapy animals.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have been involved in Therapet for a little over two years. I find the experience to be a very rewarding one. Just the other day, a lady came up to me and said she recognized me from somewhere and asked if I had a greyhound. After answering her in the affirmative, she said that I had visited her husband in the hospital and told me how much it meant to him. Sadly, he died just a few months ago. It is so surprizing to me how much our visits mean to these people. It is always so rewarding to have someone remember what we have done. I find that one of the things that I enjoy doing most, is visiting the ICU's, and see the staff come sit on the floor and just love on our dogs. I believe that sometime the staff needs the love from our animals as much as the patients. I consider it an honor to work for such a wonderful organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization when people approach me months after visiting the hospital and tell me how much the visits meant to them or their family

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

As a Therapet volunteer, one of the children's camps that we volunteer at is Camp Teneha. My favorite! We serve autistic and handicapped children by assisting Occupational Therapists with many activities. The camp is scheduled and organized by the Panola College OTA (Occupational Therapist Assistant)program. I have been volunteering with Therapet's miniature horse program and assisting my daughter who is also a Therapet volunteer in the mini program and with her therapy dog, Lilly for six years. The first time I attended camp Teneha and had the opportunity to work with those OTA students and the children, I knew that I was in my element. The horses have double lead ropes attached so the children have the sense that they are leading the horse all alone. It gives them confidence to feel like they are in control because there are so many things in their life that they have no control over. The children paint the horses and lead them through fun and educational obstacles. They respond to the horses and dogs in ways that they would never respond to the Therapists. The first time, I witnessed this phenomenal process, I knew that I desired Therapet volunteering and therapy work to be a part of my life for years to come. I also volunteer at a rehab. hospital in Tyer with my daughter and her therapy dog, Lilly. Again, I see the patients relating to Lilly and willing to do those arm exercising reps by throwing the ball over and over for Lilly to go fetch and bring back. The smiles and joy on their faces and before they know it, the repition excercises are done. We went through approx. two years of training with our animals and continue training on a yearly basis. Therapet is totally committed to the safety and well being of the people they serve, the animals, and their volunteers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By seeing the lives of people brightened, their burdens shared, and their mental, physical, and emotional health improved.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

My most memorable story was with my second Therapet, Koda-Rae. This was one of her first visits to the hospital so she was still learning the process. We entered the room of a young woman who was sitting in the chair next to her bed. She said she wanted to visit with the dogs but she never made eye contact with me. I walked Koda over to the chair where she sat and waited for the petting to begin. As this patient stroked Koda, the words and tears begin flowing. She was recently diagnosed with cancer, she missed her home, her husband, her two young children and HER dog. She cried and told Koda how afraid she was and angry that this burden had been placed upon her. I kept quiet, knowing this had NOTHING to do with me. This was between her and Koda....I was only the transportation that got her to the hospital that day. When all was said, she hugged Koda and finally looked at me and said, "She's an angel." Trying to lighten the mood a bit, I said, "Girl! You haven't tried living with her!." As serious as she could have been she replied, "Today. She's MY angel." Since then, both of my Therapets have gone to heaven but I'm training a new one and I absolutely cannot wait to get back out there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When you see lives being touched by what we're doing.....you know you're in the right place.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

When a person is sick or recovering from an injury/surgery, it's so hard to be away from home, not to mention feeling sick, and in pain. While our family and friends can come and visit us, our pets cannot, and sometimes we miss our special furry comforters most of all. I know from experience how much it means when the Therapet come. It's moments of respite from the challenges of being hospitalized - that special love and comfort that a dog can provide. Out Therapets subsitute for the beloved pets of the patients, and inevitably smiles of joy and expressions of sweet relief are what we receive in return. Those are what makes being a Therapet Volunteer so gratifying.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Being hospitalized myself and having Therapets both visit me and work with me to accelerate my recovery while in rehabilitation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Jack is a stray boxer mix that wandered up to the school where I teach. He was the first dog my husband and I ever had and what a way to start. He is as cute as he is sweet and loving. We began by taking basic obedience classes and by the second one we took, the instructor, also a therapet volunteer, suggested that Jack had the temperment for the job and thought we would be great for it. We continued working towards that goal and the rest is history. We couldn't be happier to serve our community through Therapet.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The results are evident with every visit. The dogs make such an impact on people from the physicians and nurses to the families of patients. It is amazing to watch.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Working as a Therapet volunteer has been extremely rewarding! It combines my love for animals with my desire to help people. I love seeing the smiles on patients' faces when they interact with these animals. One special needs child lit up in a huge smile when he hugged a big therapy dog---and his teachers said he NEVER smiled! Patients recovering from strokes love brushing and talking to the animals. Therapet animals bring joy, hope and healing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have worked with my Therapet dog in hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, special needs schools, and community events. Everyone loves to see the Therapets coming! They bring joy and healing to many in our community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I first learned of the Therapet organization at a special needs camp I was attending for my daughter. I was amazed at how the dogs interacted with the children. You saw instant joy on the kids faces but you could see how much the dogs enjoyed the interaction as well. I was hooked on Therapet from that day forward. I have one dog in the program and another in training. I feel it is the most rewarding thing I do with my dog. I have seen from both sides (patient/volunteer) the benefits that the Therapets bring. To see how the dogs instinctively react to the patients needs always takes my breath away.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personally with my special needs daughter and the program started at her school with the Therapets. Also strengthened the bond with my dog.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I've been with Therapet from the beginning. I was one of the original volunteers in 1994 in East Texas and have had 6 therapy dogs over the years. My first Therapet was Therapy Dog of the Year in 1998. I have served on the Board of Directors since 1997 and also serve as Therapet's Medical Director.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've worked with countless patients over the years and many have left an indelible impression. Pictures of my dogs with a patient are on the mantels of dozens of homes in East Texas and many have been placed in a coat pocket at the time of burial.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

As a nephrologist I'm used to interacting with very sick patients and family as a physician. Volunteering with Therapet allows me to interact with patients and families in an entirely different way and yet still have a positive impact on their lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Therapet volunteers, to a person, put the patients and their animals first. It started as a small family 16 years ago and has grown dramatically since then. Yet it still remains a family and people are always there to support one another regardless.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

1) Have the time and wherewithal to communicate it's Standards of Practice as well as it's selection, training and certification processes nationwide. 2) Convene a summit of major AAT players to adopt a nationwide standard of care in AAT.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer with Therapet for over 4 years and I wish I was young enough to be able to do it for another 40 years! The feeling I get when I see how people respond to the animals is priceless. Very often people tell us how much it means to them to have the animals come to visit or to work with them in therapy. I have to say that I get as much from the experience as the patients and family do. One patient in particular that I recall working with in animal assisted therapy had hurt her shoulder and elbow and had to have surgery. It was very painful for her to move her arm, but as she brushed and stroked my dog, she forgot all about her pain. She became so engrossed in telling me stories about her late husband whom she obviously loved dearly that she had no idea how hard she was working during her therapy. She was brushing away on my dog, brushing from his head to his tail and when she started out, she could barely lift her arm up to pet him. Seeing results like this, seeing the progress stroke and accident victims make from week to week, and seeing the looks of joy and comfort on the faces of patients and their families make it a joy to be a part of Therapet. I enjoy belonging to this organization so much and I have made some life-long friends because of it. Therapet people have become my second family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My dogs and I have worked with many patients over the last 4 years and I have seen real progress they have made over time. So many patients are motivated to get well so they can get back home to their animals and family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope to make others aware of the experience and knowledge that our executive director, Shari Curran OTR, has gained over the last 25 years. From this she has developed very high standards for Therapet that other organizations should strive toward.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the great feeling I get from sharing my animals with others and the great friends I have made with other volunteers.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful hard-working people. They are always happy to see the animals and I like just about anyone who likes my dogs!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

educate the rest of the nation and the world about the tremendous results that are possible using animal assisted therapy.

Ways to make it better...

I can't think of a single thing that could possibly make me get more enjoyment from the work I do with Therapet.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finances. We fund-raise all year long to try to raise money for not only the operating expenses, but the expense of producing educational books and training videos so other animal assisteded therapy organizations can benefit from our experience.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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