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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Denver Pet Partners

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support

Mission: Denver Pet Partners (DPP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the Human-Animal Bond to improve quality of life, benefit human-animal interaction and enhance animal-assisted interaction services in Colorado. Founded in 2001, DPP is inclusive of animal-assisted interaction volunteers, professionals and associated organizations. Mission Statement of DPP: To deliver excellence in animal-assisted interaction and enhance the health and wellness of people through: AAI Services Education Networking Advocacy Research Resource Development

Results: Enhanced services of the healthcare, education and child welfare communities by aiding the rate of healing and teaching important life skills as well as increasing the knowledge of healthcare professionals about incorporating animals into the therapeutic treatment process

Target demographics: healthcare, education & child welfare

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 40,000 lives through direct services, training courses and community education

Geographic areas served: metro Denver and surrounding areas

Programs: information and education on animal-assisted interaction and provides the services of registered, insured volunteer handler-animal teams to enhance the healing and learning process for the metro Denver area in healthcare, education and child welfare.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners brings dogs to the Columbine Library for our PAWS program, where children can read to dogs. Denver Pet Partners has been fabulous to work with. Children and their families absolutely love having the dogs at the library. The dogs and their caregivers are wonderful!

Beverly C.  1581191

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I rescued my dog Pepper, a Labrador/Border Collie Mix in 2013 I knew that she would make a wonderful therapy dog. At 7 months old she was calm, gentle, loving and just a “happy” dog all the time who loved people, especially children.
I wanted to share her with others so that they could experience this love. In 2015 I took the Handlers Workshop put on by Denver Pet Partners and because of the encouragement and support of their wonderful trainer Pepper and I went on to get registered as a therapy team and joined DPP. DPP is committed to making sure that their teams are well-trained and professional. They are very supportive of their volunteers and their partners. They always stress to the volunteers that we are our animal’s best advocate. DPP constantly keeps us advised of new visiting opportunities within our communities. However, as you would expect, there are more opportunities than there are therapy teams.

It has been an amazing and extremely rewarding experience for Pepper and me. To see the joy and happiness that Pepper brings to patients and staff in the hospitals; to the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse that we encounter at the court house; to troubled youths at the detention center; to students who are stressed out during final exams at colleges and high schools; and to young children who are having difficulty reading.

Thank you Denver Pet Partners for all that you do to promote the Human-Animal Bond through Animal Assisted Therapy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners provides Dog Reading Teams to Jefferson County Public Library as part of our Paws for Reading program. Kids love to come to the library to read to the dogs, and we have found that this is a wonderfully effective way for kids to gain confidence in their ability to read and it increases their desire to read.

Denver Pet Partners has been a wonderful partner in our reading program. As an organization they are very professional, organized, and collaborative. All of their dog/handler teams are great, having received training and certification. I greatly enjoy working with Denver Pet Partners and would recommend them to anyone interested in working with this organization in any capacity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My best friend Hayden and I have been associated with Denver Pet Partners for almost ten years, and it's been a remarkably positive experience. Of course, the work is tremendously fulfilling, but what really makes DPP special is the commitment to providing consistent, high-quality training and assessment for therapy teams, as well as ensuring that client facilities provide safe and appropriate places for teams to do their work. DPP has also built a terrific community to meet and learn from other handlers, and provide interesting team meetings to build skills and learn about interesting topics in the field of animal therapy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When you get a dog that loves people and is happiest around them, you figure this dog must be shared with others. That is why I joined Denver Pet Partners with our half Bichon, half Cavalier spaniel Buddy. We have volunteered mostly at our local courthouse, in the truancy courtroom and the victims' advocacy meeting area. Buddy is a total tension reliever, not only for our family but also for all the courthouse staff, visitors, judges.

What I didn't know was that I would be connected with the best staff a volunteer could wish for. From the initial training for dog and human to the backup for whatever volunteer event we participate in, the DPP staff, also volunteers, are A+. Quick and easy to communicate with, mirroring a volunteer in the beginning for as long as it takes, support through all ventures, but most of all their friendship.

The Denver metro area benefits from therapy dogs visiting hospitals, schools, courthouses, nursing homes, libraries and universities to name a few. But the volunteer is brought into a community of loving and lovely people.

Kate and Buddy

Rika M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with this wonderful organization since 2015 and now have both my rescued dogs registered as therapy animals. I also became a certified instructor for prospective handlers. I'm always impressed by how ethically & professionally DPP is run, all by dedicated volunteers who have a passion for human-animal interaction. The support they provide handler teams, both new and experienced, is impressive and consistent.



Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I just started volunteering with Denver Pet Partners with our little dog, Peppa. Amazing organization with super caring individuals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

pet Partners has given me a wonderful way to give back to my community. This is important to me because I had a kidney transplant recently, my community helped me now it’s my turn to help others. Thank you Pet Partners.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I adopted our first Lionhead rabbits a few years ago...and realized that these adorable, sweet little animals could bring joy to so many people. I didn't really know what it would take to get a rabbit certified as a therapy animal until I found Denver Pet Partners. They had never had rabbits go through their program, but were amazing at helping us get to where we are today. Our rabbits went through training and certification, just as all of the dogs do, and now we have four therapy rabbits that visit patients at Craig Hospital on a regular basis.

We have found that rabbits make amazing therapy animals! For patients with limited physical abilities, their small size is perfect for sitting on a lap in a wheelchair or nuzzling against a face in a patient's bed. They have brought smiles to so many faces and we would not be able to provide this wonderful encounter to patients without the help and constant support of Denver Pet Partners.

The emotional experiences that my daughter and I have had together doing animal therapy are also more than words can express. The caring people at Denver Pet Partners have been very welcoming to my daughter and this is a great program for other young adults to be a part of.

Carol P.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My golden retriever mix Oma,and I have been part of Denver Pet Partners for over 2 years. During this time we have interacted with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life, from de-stress events for high school and college students, to retirement and memory care homes. I've had students rub Oma's belly and and ears and tell me, " Just a few more minutes and I'll be ready to take my final"!! An elderly woman in memory care who was sitting in her wheelchair was unresponsive until I gently placed her hand on Oma's head and she began to rub her ears and smiled! We currently interact ,weekly, with teens who are in a residential treatment center. Oma gently lays her head in a client's lap while they hold and cuddle her. Many tears flow while an individual teen "tells" Oma her problems......It really has been an amazing journey learning about animal assisted therapy and how this bond between a dog and a person can help people feel joy, calm fears and help heal!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Remington and I are fairly new to Denver Pet Partners. Our experience so far has been fantastic. Every day gets better and better. Starting out in something like this can be a little daunting at first. But with the help of LInda, Susan and Meme, we are doing just fine. The experience has been rewarding. Their mentorship has been a blessing.

The response and comments we get from the patients, visitors and staff at the places we visits is unbelievable. I have yet to run into anyone who doesn't have anything but the greatest appreciation for what we do and for all of the Denver Pet Partners Organization. It is truly a blessed service. Remi and I are looking forward to a long rewarding relationship with DPP.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have Know about Denver Pet Partners (DPP) for many years. Fortunately, my Golden/Lab Retriever had the temperament and big heart to become a therapy dog in 2010. Since then, I'm on my second therapy dog (Yellow Lab) with DPP. This has been an extremely fulfilling and satisfying experience for me and my dogs. We are able to provide support, encouragement, and unconditional love to many community members in hospitals, schools, Adams County Court, and local libraries. DPP is a non-profit who supports all its members (and their animals) to help in many ways in the greater Denver Metro area.
Patt B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2005 my Golden retriever Teddy and I became a therapy team and members of DPP. The Handler Workshop we attended was taught by Diana McQuarrie, the founder of DPP. Our journey has been incredible. We have met so many wonderful people along the way vsiting in Senior facilities, Women and Children's shelters and hospitals. We also volunteer in a literacy program at an elementary school with first graders. I am continuing this work now with my golden retriever Bode since Teddy's passing last year. I am reminded during every visit we make how powerful the human-animal bond is and the healing power of that bond.

I have been so inspired by many DPP mentors that I became a Pet Partner Instructor and Team Evaluator. I wanted to do this so I could give back to this wonderful organization and help provide more well-trained and prepared teams to serve the community.

DPP's mission and commitment to it's members and to the community make it the best therapy animal organization that one could be a member of. DPP's high standards in handler training that is offered, mentoring of new teams and continuing education of the teams prepare them for success in the field of Animal Assisted Intervention. I am proud to be a member of such a supportive group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog, Gunner, and I have been a part of denver pet partners for only a year and a half. It is the highlight of my week when I am able to take Gunner to visit kids at a clinic in Colorado Springs. The kids and the therapists look forward to seeing him. They get to see his tricks, scratch and love on him, and even play some tug-of-war. Gunner loves being active with the kiddos and I absolutely love being able to share him with others. I have already seen improvements with the kids that he has interacted with and just seeing the smiles on their faces is worth it all.

I like that DPP is good about informing the teams of being your animal's best advocate. We are taught to notice any stressors that the animal might be showing when they are visiting with people and are encouraged to do what is best for the animal, regardless of how the experience is going with the visits. I like this a lot. I also like the way that we are trained and then tested/evaluated as a team. The process is very thorough, which means that the teams are up to date on evaluations and are officially registered to go out to the field and make peoples' days. DPP is a very organized and well-established organization. Although it is big, it feels like family. Gunner and I are proud to be a part of it.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've attended a number of visits by DPP teams and the reaction is always amazing. Once the daughter of a memory-care resident at an Assisted-Living facility asked a team to come to her mother's room, because she badly missed her dog. The team stayed with the mother and her kids and grandkids for about 20 minutes, with the daughter later reporting how much it had meant to her mother.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with Prescriptive Privileges, and I love research! The available fact-finding information on the human value of FUR is heartening. I am genuinely grateful for the Denver Pet Partners Organization which nurtures, promotes, and advances the ideology of the Human-Animal Bond.

My Irish Terrier dog Jack and I are a Registered Therapy Team with Denver Pet Partners. We have volunteered during peak travel times at the Denver International Airport; participated in group de-stressing at the Air Force Academy; made weekly visits for a year to Clinic and hospital patients and staff at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital; and currently make twice a week ReadTo Me visits to First Graders at Soaring Hawk Elementary, and a monthly visit at the Castle Pines Library for Bark For Books.

I have witnessed affecting responses from human beings, young and old, who interact with Jack The Dog. Just one exemplification involves Robert, a little First Grader who, at the beginning of the school year could not read two or three sentences to Jack. He visibly lacked confidence and any enjoyment with reading.

Along with expert guidance from Robert’s teacher, Jack spent extra time with Robert throughout the school year. In April Robert’s mother contacted his teacher to relate how Robert woke her on her Birthday with a special present. He was carrying a little book, climbed onto her bed and then proceeded to read to her. She was tearful, and she was grateful for her gift.

Let me add that each time Jack listens to a reader the child receives a cherished sticker, a Jack bookmark and a little treat to give to Jack.

The Denver Pet Partners’ staff provide a wealth of education, structure and support for their volunteer teams. The sincere regard shown for each human-animal relationship is profound. I am absolutely amazed at the relationship I have developed with Jack, owing uniquely to the expertise and enlightenment of DPP, and also enhancing our volunteering experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with my older therapy dog since 2012. After the pet therapy organization we were associated with dissolved, I was not sure I would continue my volunteering. I felt lost and without direction. Fortunately, I found DPP that not only re-certified me when the time came, but most importantly, provided me and my dog with a great support, encouragement, and guidance. DPP is dedicated to high standards of animal assisted therapy and those are shared and passed to all of their members. I love being part of this organization! I can always rely on their support. I feel valued as a member and know that me and my now two therapy dogs can make a difference in other people's lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Denver Pet Partners for about 1.5 years, along with my sweet greyhound, Nesh (a rescue). I cannot say enough good things about DPP. Nesh and I have been paired with incredible volunteer opportunities. Currently, we are in animal assisted therapy groups at a residential treatment facility for at risk adolescents, and at the Jeffco youth mental health court, and we give some TLC to students and teachers at the Fletcher Miller School. I know that Nesh and I get so much from yhe experiences and the kids simply love the interactions. Nesh teaches the kids patience and observed behaviors and they give her love. What more could we want. If anyone is considering becoming an animal therapy team, you could look for nothing better than DPP, which wants the animals and volunteer visits to be as safe as possible for all concerned. And if you have a volunteer opportunity, you have found the right place in DPP.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners (DPP) is an amazing group of folks to volunteer with here in Colorado. They are so interested and supportive of every volunteer as well as their dog, and want truly want the best for both . DPP promotes the Human-Animal bond through human-animal interactions or what most people call "therapy dogs" in various environments within our community. From children to the elderly, these dogs can provide a precious moment of distraction or calm in what could otherwise be a sterile or stressful place. DPP works to make those moments happen with care, professionalism and dedication for the people and pets alike.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired in March 2015 and brought home my beautiful black Labrador puppy in July 2015. I had the goal of us becoming a pet therapy team. As probably most people know, Labradors have lots of energy and can be mischievous bundles of joy. I worked with Ellie so much with my goal in mind and we evaluated in October 2016. We did it! We became a team! Ellie and I have been going to Fort Logan Mental Facility for over a year. We also started going to the elementary school where the children read to her. I feel Denver Pet Partners is such a professional organization that makes it clear we are an advocate for our pet first. We feel valued in the community and I am so very proud to say we are a Denver Pet Partner team. I have enjoyed all the smiles and laughs I have witnessed, which in turn make me smile and warms my heart. I feel we have added a little bit more love to our community.

Judy and Ellie