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.
Programs: Since 1994, therapet has provided animal assisted activities (aaa) or animal assisted therapy (aat) free of charge. Therapet is directly involved in a wide range of human services including physical and cognitive rehabilitation, therapeutic interventions with victims of family violence and sexual assault, reading programs, education seminars, and community events. In 2014, therapet sponsored approximately 90 human/animal teams including dogs, 5 cats and a cockatoo, served over 20 agencies and approximately 40 community events. Therapet teams served the community with approximately 12,000 volunteer hours of aaa/aat and an estimated 50,000 human/animal encounters yearly. Therapets 2014 accomplishments:1. Therapet skills class: therapet continued training teams with six formal classes especially designed to train new teams. Fourteen new teams were certified. 2. Team re-certification: to ensure therapet teams are highly skilled, certified teams undergo an annual recertification process and volunteer orientation. Sixty-seven teams were recertified. 3. Aaa/aat programs: therapet maintained or enhanced aaa/aat services to an extremely wide range of settings. These include the following:a. Community agencies who provide emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. B. Community agencies who serve as advocate for abused children. C. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers and schools for patients, clients, students who are mentally challenged, have a neurologic deficits due to stroke, injury or birth defect or those who are recovering from major surgical procedures or debilitating diseases. D. Community agancies and schools to assist students reading below grade level improve reading skills and comprehension. E. Alternative school settings for at-risk students. F. Prisons as a behavior modification. 4. Strengthened infrastructure: therapet opened a new training center used as organization offices, a training facility for therapet skills classes, rally classes, beginning canine obedience classes and to facilitate team recertification. The training center is also used for board and committee meetings 15-20 times a month. 5. Redesigned website: therapets website was redesigned to accommodate online learning.
Since 2003, I have served as one of the escorts for Therapet as they visit our patients and family members of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler . I have seen countless patients respond in such a positive way to the attention and care of these wonderful animals and their owners - smiles when there were tears, relief when there was pain, comfort when there was loneliness. Almost equally as special is the joy they provide to our staff of caregivers in an otherwise very stressful day. What makes this pet therapy organization different from so many others is the degree of professionalism and high standards they set for themselves. In all these years, we have not had one single negative incident. Therapet is such a respected organization here, they are allowed to visit patients in our Intensive Care Unit. I can't think of another non-profit organization that I respect more than I do Therapet.