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2020 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

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners has worked closely with Suncrest Colorado Hospice in bringing pet therapy, support, joy, and compassion to our hospice patients. They are truly professional in following protocols for both organizations. They are top rated in every aspect - training, workshops, communication, documentation, and evaluations. As the Suncrest Colorado volunteer coordinator, I have seen first hand the beautiful interactions Denver Pet Partners has with improving the quality of life for our hospice patients. I am so grateful for the 2 year partnership with Denver Pet Partners.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners has been providing therapy dog experiences to our medical students at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine since 2013. Volunteers from Denver Pet Partners bring their therapy dogs to the medical school twice/week to provide a needed relief to the stress of medical school for our students, faculty and staff. I have received multiple emails from students who have expressed how much the dogs meant to their well-being and success in coping with the rigors of medical school. Additionally, when one of the therapy animals dies, there is a heartfelt outpouring of sympathy and support from both current and former medical students. This makes me believe that the pet therapy program increases the empathy and human awareness that we strive to foster in our students. Denver Pet Partners is truly a great organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For almost 5 years, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Denver Pet Partners. Our Angel Paws pet therapy program offers our patients, visitors and staff a welcome distraction from illness and stress by bringing smiles to faces. All of our pet therapy teams go through the Denver Pet Partners' program and it gives us a peace of mind knowing they get the very best possible training and support. We love Denver Pet Partners!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with this organization for over a decade. I have had two registered therapy dogs that worked in hospitals, educational facilities, libraries, and destress events. Although both of my golden retrievers have passed, I continue to support this organization through my role as a board member. We have recently adopted a young golden that shows promise of continuing in the pawprints of our departed companions. This organization is very supportive of its members and is dedicated to bringing comfort to our community through education, evaluation, and outreach.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Denver pet partners provides the Golden Library with the most wonderful handlers and dogs for our PawsforReading program. We have always appreciated the importance of this program but Covid has made us brutally aware of the need for such an in person human/animal interaction.... it is almost just a bonus that our patrons also learn to read and ENJOY reading through this fulfilling program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sophie, my golden doodle and I joined Denver Pet Partners about three years ago. I didn't know if she or I could pass the entrance exam, but WE DID and belonging to this organization has made a big difference in out lives. We have attended hospitals and care facilities, knowing that the training we received from DPP will ensure that we both can enjoy these experiences safely with the patients.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became aware of the positive impact of therapy animals when my parents were in rehab, long-term care, and hospice. I decided that my rescue dog, Chewy, would make a good therapy dog, I took the handler class, and we started training. Chewy and I did not pass our first evaluation, but Denver Pet Partners was very supportive in encouraging us to try again. One of the other handlers even met with us to do a practice evaluation. On our second try, Chewy and I passed the evaluation! But only a few weeks later, Chewy was diagnosed with cancer, and a few weeks after that he died. Denver Pet Partners was again very supportive and compassionate, and made me feel like I continued to be part of the group, even though I did not have a current therapy animal. I have since helped with evaluations for other therapy teams, and am training with my new rescue dog to (hopefully) become a therapy team. Through everything, Denver Pet Partners has been understanding and helpful, and continues to include me as part of the team, with or without a therapy animal. I have continued to attend classes and team meetings, and hope to continue to be involved in some capacity with the wonderful members of this group!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most visitors at our house get solicited for attention from our very sociable dog Luke. Several years ago our guests were a woman and her blind husband. After they were seated, Luke became quite sedate, sitting nicely and still next to our handicapped visitor without a cue from us. We were so proud. I think this type of awareness and nurturing behavior is due in large part to the training and experiences while visiting as a team for Denver Pet Partners.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Denver Pet Partners for over 10 years. I am now on my third dog as a therapy partner, and have truly enjoyed my volunteer work for this group. My new dog, Bear, is a rescue, and I immediately knew he would make a great therapy dog because he is calm, gentle, loving and just a “happy” dog all the time who loved people, especially children.

Denver Pet Partners is very supportive of their volunteers and their partners. They communicate with all the members on a regular basis, provide helpful information at meetings and in their newsletter, and are always supportive when a members needs help or has questions on visiting situations.

Denver Pet Partners has given me an extremely rewarding volunteer experience for over 10 years . I have witnessed joy and happiness from patients and staff in the hospitals, helped victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse that we encountered at the court house, and provided some much needed relief to students who are stressed out during final exams at colleges and high schools.

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

Previous Stories

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.

1 Vicki Rosen D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with my dogs LT and Lacey in our local hospital. We were trained and evaluated by Denver Pet Partners. They are an awesome group of caring, giving people! We are so proud to work with them and represent them in our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roscoe and I have been a team with Denver Pet Partners for 5 years. This organization has the highest standards for certifying Animal Assisted Therapy Teams. Roscoe and I have visited schools and participated in many community events. The people we visit are so appreciative and thankful. Roscoe and I always feel very gratified after our visits and are happy to bring a smile to someone.

1

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.

1

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

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

Julie Brief S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a DPP Volunteer. Along with my Brussels Griffon Ollie, we have been a part of the organization for over 2 1/2 years. The all day training I received was super interesting and prepared me for what to expect as a volunteer. I was able to then go through the evaluation and Ollie fortunately passed on his first try. We volunteer at the Denver Hospice Care Center, participate in "Destress" events at many local colleges and universities and we have also participated in other special one-time events. The experience is always challenging but ultimately very rewarding for both Ollie and myself. The leaders of DPP are dedicated, unselfish volunteers who are truly passionate about the work we all do in the community. I highly recommend getting involved with this organization both as a volunteer and with financial contributions. You will truly make a difference!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dudley, a 10 month old flat coated retriever, was owner surrendered to the Pikes Peak Humane Society and came into our home in 2005. He soon settled into his new environment and became our devoted and loving companion. As time went by we realized that he had a lot more to give than just being our partner.

Denver Pet Partners (DPP) turned out to be the perfect vehicle for us to work through. In 2013, my wife and Dudley qualified as a therapy dog team and began visiting Special Ed students at a local elementary school. I accompanied them and was amazed at the impact Dudley had on these youngsters. They looked forward to Dudley’s arrival and it was heartwarming to see their faces light up upon his arrival.

As a Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ) Dudley visited several libraries that had “Paws to Read” programs for children. He welcomed anyone who came by and obviously was non-judgmental of their reading skills.

Visiting residents at two Memory Care Centers in Castle Rock exposed us to a new set of unforgettable experiences. Dudley’s presence brought great joy to those he met. Residents relaxed and loved to pet or hold him while sharing stories of their own animal companions.

In 2015, Dudley made sure that I too passed DPP’s exams, so that we became a qualified therapy team as well. I was excited to be his partner.

In Feb. 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer and 5 weeks later we had to say goodbye to our sweet Dudley. We miss him terribly but find solace in knowing that he brought joy to many lives and refreshed the memories of those who were losing them.

Denver Pet Partner’s programs provide invaluable benefits to many who are very appreciative of companionship and comfort. DPP volunteers with their animal partners selflessly meet these needs. My wife and I are honored to be supporting members of such an incredible organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners was brought to my attention in 2013 through a dog trainer in Castle Rock. Our sweet Flat Coated Retriever, Dudley, was 8 years old, and I had felt for a long time that he would make a terrific therapy dog. He was definitely a people dog with a wonderful temperament and calm demeanor. Not only would he bring love and comfort to people who needed it, but he himself would enjoy this kind of work.

DPP required me to take a Therapy Dog Handler class and Dudley went through an evaluation which he passed easily, before we could be a registered therapy team. DPP is very well organized and set up to help people and their dogs become successful visiting teams. Dudley and I followed up with a R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) course and shortly after, we were on our way to visit with Special Ed children at a school not far from us. The children greatly benefited from these visits and let everyone know just how much they looked forward to Dudley’s visits.

When the therapy dog program at the school was discontinued, we started visiting first one and then a second memory care facility in Castle Rock. The impact Dudley made on the lives of these people was tremendous. They so enjoyed seeing him and soon started talking and laughing and sharing their own dog stories.

Every other week, Dudley also used his beautiful people skills as a R.E.A.D. dog at a public library, where children had a lot of fun reading to him. We could see that the children with poor reading skills were improving at a fast rate. There is much to be said for the success of this program.

Throughout this time, we would attend DPP team meetings that were both educational and informative. We are so grateful for this great organization and will continue to support it, even though our beloved Dudley died of cancer in 2016.
Thank you, Denver Pet Partners, for giving us this wonderful opportunity.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My story begins many years ago when my then 10 year old son was a patient at a hospital in Ohio. The best part of being in the hospital, according to my son, was the dog that came to visit! While I was unable to do anything at that point in my life, I knew that at some point I wanted to be that person that brought a dog to visit patients and make their day just a bit brighter!

We moved from Ohio to Aurora with a beautiful Sheltie puppy that I was training to hopefully become that dog that all would enjoy! Denver Pet Partners made my long time dream come true in 2014. I completed the Handler Training Workshop and we passed our Evaluation and started visiting at a cancer center and local hospital. I am always humbled by the joy and love that my sheltie has given to patients, visitors and staff.

Thank you Denver Pet Partners for making a dream come true, for providing me the support, education and community that I call friends!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2001 my wonderful wife and executive director of Denver Pet Partners, Diana, accompanied by our Golden Retriever, Shana, walked into Swedish Medical Center and asked the volunteer director, Sally Jo Thomas, if she had a visiting animal program in which they could participate. Sally Jo responded that they did not have such a program. Immediately upon learning this, Diana asked if she could start one...the rest is history! That day the Swedish Medical Center became the first program for Denver Pet Partners and, to this day, it remains the largest and longest-standing program which we operate in partnership with Swedish. Since 2001, Denver Pet Partners has grown into a vital organization with over 160 members. Our amazing (and I truly mean amazing) members have shown the healing power of the human-animal bond to many thousands of people in acute care facilities, long-term care facilities, hospices, schools, and libraries. They have freely donated hundreds of thousands of hours of their own time (and that of their precious Partners) to help people smile and feel better about themselves, and contribute to healing in miraculous ways. Children have learned critical reading skills by reading to a friendly, and always very attentive, dog! The work we do is powerful and DPP is becoming increasingly relevant in our community thanks to the dedication of the members, their Pet Partner teammates, and our board which I am privileged to lead.

Ken McQuarrie
Chair, Denver Pet Partners

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Janice and her pups have been participating in Bark for Books at Douglas County Libraries in Parker for approximately three years. They have had a positive impact on more than 150 kids, fostering a love of both reading and animals. Not only have they touched the lives of many children, but of library staff members as well! It is wonderful to stop working for a few minutes and love on some pooches. Thank you so much, Janice, for your time and positive energy!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Clay and I have been with Denver Pet Partners for two years and have been a team for a little over a year. I have always found everyone to be gracious and very helpful. Initially I was confused as to how one went about linking up with an organization to visit as a team. I wrote a Board Member that I didn't know and he quickly referred me to someone else who linked us up with the hospital that I now volunteer with. DPP stresses the importance of being your pet's best advocate no matter the situation. Allegiance to our pet partners is first and foremost.
The organization strives to keep members up to date on the latest research of the animal-human bond as well as other pertinent topics. DPP provides many services to many community agencies with quality care and interactions always in mind.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for this organization for over 3 years, visiting hospitals, schools, libraries, and other locations with my dog. Sometimes we are just a distraction for a patient from the monotony of the hospital or for a student from the stress of finals week, and other times my dog provides a furry shoulder to lean on for someone who is going through a very difficult time. People have shared things with her that they would never share with other people. Everywhere we go, whether we are just arriving at a hospital, library, or school, or we are actively working, people are happy to see a dog in a place where they don't expect to see one.

The people who volunteer with their animals for Denver Pet Partners are top notch; their top priority is the welfare of their animals and they love to help the people they visit, whether it's children learning to read or lonely seniors in a nursing home. Denver Pet Partners has rigorous standards for their animals and animal handlers, ensuring only those who are suitable for this work are doing it. There are also many people who volunteer many hours to serve on the Board of Directors for Denver Pet Partners or to assist with training, team evaluations, and administrative tasks. This is truly a highly dedicated group of volunteers who strives for excellence in everything they do.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I retired in 2015, I knew that I wanted to spend my time sharing wonderful doggy hugs with other people. Since the prior year, I had been a patient of the Aurora Rocky Mountain Cancer center, and I had seen them have therapy dogs come to visit. So, I started my therapy dog journey by asking the Aurora Rocky Mountain Cancer Center what therapy dog organization they worked with. I trusted them with my life, so I figured whoever they thought was the best was really the best! They told me to wait that day, that one of the teams with Denver Pet Partners was coming in a few minutes! So, when I met the handler, she gave me her card and said to send her an email. I did that, and right away I was in touch with the DPP training coordinator, who called and talked to me. I did not have a dog to have as my therapy dog yet, and the training coordinator really helped me with advice about what to do. I then started to go to the team meetings, which was so wonderful, I got to meet so many handlers and their dogs, and hear stories and get wonderful advice about how to proceed. I then decided I would like to help out Denver Pet Partners however I could, so when we were asked at one of the team meetings to volunteer for a committee to plan the 15 year anniversary party for Denver Pet Partners, I said yes! I also volunteered for whatever else needed to be done, and began answering the phone calls and emails going to the Denver Pet Partner info line. From there it has just blossomed. I have come to know so many wonderful, caring people, that are so committed to making Denver Pet Partners a wonderful organization, with very special goals, to create safe, quality visits from our teams every time. The stories you hear from the teams of their visits bring tears to your eyes, they are so moving. Thank you Denver Pet Partners for adding a special purpose and value to my life. I have had my puppy now for a year and a half, and the Denver Pet Partner members have been so helpful to me in her training, and socialization, and getting me ready for my evaluation! Having this network of people available is invaluable.

Marcia Hanes


1 golden1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a well run organization with a dedicated membership. They reach out to the community in many ways, and support the impact of therapy animals.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners has enhanced my total being. I am a retired, elementary school librarian, who was addicted to my profession. Feeling like a part of my personality had left me, there was an emptiness I had never experienced before. Enter Denver Pet partners. I had heard about the R.E.A.D. program and what it could do to build confidence in reluctant readers. Lucky for me, I had a very loving Labradoodle that I was confident could be my partner in this new chapter of my life. We were on a mission to become a R.E.A.D. team. I did my research, and Halle Berry Perry, my Labradoodle, and I completed our obedience training, AKC Canine Good Citizen Award, Denver Pet Partners evaluation and our R.E.A.D. evaluation. We are enthusiastically serving the elementary school I retired from, another elementary school close to my home and our local library. We also visit an assisted living facility. Giving back to my community has more than filled that void in my life. Knowing the positive impact we are creating for these students and the elderly simply warms my heart and soul. Doing this with my treasured Labradoodles makes this a dream come true. Labradoodles? Yes! I now have my second Labradoodle, Ziva, also serving with me as a registered Denver Pet Partner therapy dog. Halle is entering her fifth year of serving and Ziva, her third year. The children and elderly alike, love these dogs as much as I do! Denver Pet Partners and Read With Me, formerly R.E.A.D., have enhanced my life and I feel whole again!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Emma, my five year old petite blond golden retriever, has a special connection to people - Emma is a just a magnet of love, whether they are patients, guests or staff. I don't pretend to understand this magic. I don't want to analyze it. I accept the beauty of pet therapy with gratitude, awe, and thanksgiving.

Pet therapy programs have been shown to help patients achieve positive health effects, such as decreased blood pressure levels, as well as a lessneing of stress and anziety. Visits can result in fewer requests for pain medication, and shorter recovery times. Emma provides a break from the normal hospital routine, eats up the affection, provides companionship, and helps patients feel connected to the outside world that they can only see through their window. We bring the outside inside. After all, who doesn't need more hugs?

Board Member

Rating: 5

My name is Ed . As a new Board Member, I am constantly reminded of the
profound effect that the bond between animals and humans provides. In
hospitals and nursing homes, etc., Denver Pet Partners visits give patients
comfort , and the satisfaction of knowing how much we are appreciated.
It is most heart warming!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When one thinks about volunteering, it can often be a difficult choice to make as to where best to devote time and energy. This is especially so because there are many, many great institutions and causes, which really need help from the community. The big question a person often asks of herself/himself is, “Can I make a difference”? The answer is a resounding “YES” if you volunteer through or support Denver Pet Partners (DPP)! As a volunteer for 5 years, my pet partner and I have seen the magic of a furry friend. Supporting Physical Therapists with one -on -one activities that assist individuals to heal physically and emotionally from surgeries and other life altering events, we know and see the tangible difference each visit makes. Our clients count on us to help them achieve their goals with the individuals they hope to aid. Whether success is measured by way of a smile, a positive emotion, or a task/physical goal achieved, it is impossible to miss that the presence of a pet partner played a key role in the event. DPP is committed to excellence and demonstrates this through comprehensive training, ongoing support of its teams, and service excellence to it’s clients and partners!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners has been a huge supporter of the Paws to Read program at Bemis Public Library. "Paws" began at Bemis in April 2004 to partner reluctant readers with therapy pets in order to provide a non-critical and non-judgmental audience which allows children to overcome their fear of reading aloud. We are so grateful to the dedicated teams who volunteer their time and efforts month after month to instill confidence and foster a love of reading in the children of our community.
Val Fetters - Children's Division Supervisor

1 luvgoldens

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my great pleasure to volunteer with Denver Pet Partners for 8 years. With my canine pet therapy partners, Kenzie and Toby, I've had many memorable experiences visiting at Swedish Medical Center. Kenzie was known for her patient work in the rehabilitation unit where she would help stroke victims regain strength and coordination. Therapists would often tell of how her presence encouraged patients to work harder and more joyfully. Toby visits with me now sharing his own special kind of tail-wagging joy. He and I are also involved in a Read to the Dog program at the Anythink Library. The children are so encouraged when they have a friendly furry buddy to read to. I've also been active as a Trained Evaluator for DPP. In all of my experiences with DPP I have encountered wonderful, supportive people. I hope to be involved in this rewarding work for many more years.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an Advisory Council member for Denver Pet Partners, but also had the joy of working closely with Diana McQuarrie in developing the "Therapy Animals Supporting Kids" (TASK) Program and Manual setting forth guidelines on therapy animals working with children going through the court process. Denver Pet Partners and its leadership are truly at the top of this field and are providing a high-quality safe service. It is a wonderful organization and I am honored to be a part of!

1 schr0413

Board Member

Rating: 5

In addition to serving on the board of directors with DPP, I volunteer with my 130 lb Great Pyrenees/Bernese mix named Marley. We have been able to touch lives at both Swedish Medical Center and the Mount Saint Vincent Home weekly for the past couple of years. Originally, I signed up for the organization because I had a dog that would be a great fit and DPP appeared to be the most professional in Denver. This experience has very much exceeded my expectations due to the people involved and the visual impact Marley makes on other people's lives.

The people involved with DPP are amazing and truly care about AAT work and giving back to others. In addition to Marley touching lives every time he goes to work, I have learned from the interactions myself. This makes both of us a better therapy team and me a better person. Overall, DPP has touched my life immensely and why I'm more involved as a board member in addition to an active therapy team. For anyone that has ever bonded with an animal and recognizes the impact it can have, Denver Pet Partners is a perfect fit to help you help others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer through Denver Pet Partners at Julia Greeley Academy, doing Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) with the R.E.A.D. program (Reading Education Assistance Dogs). This is the second year we have been volunteering there. Julia Greeley is small private school in northeast Denver which serves inner city minority youth. The principal and the teachers select students who are significantly behind their peers in reading. Hathaway, our therapy dog, and I work with the same students each week, a half hour per student. They get the chance to practice reading in a safe, calm environment – to a really non-judgemental listener! I try to channel my comments through Hathaway, saying things like “Hathaway didn’t understand that word, let’s try to break it into parts so that she can understand it,” or “Hathaway is confused about this part of the story. Can you explain it to her?”

The program works best for students who need additional practice; students who have become anxious and uncomfortable reading aloud. Hathaway snuggles beside them as they read, and they pet her while they read to her. Of the students in the first year, one was two grades behind his peers when we started, and had caught up to them by the end of the year.

Part of the success of the Pet Partners program at Julia Greeley can be seen in program’s reception – the staff, parents and students all hope for additional teams, because they can see the difference the Pet Partners teams make in the lives of the students they work with.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Ellen. Eight years ago I was blessed to have rescued a very special chocolate Labrador Retriever named Pennie. We have been working at the Denver Pet Partners READ program at the Westminster Libraries for the last two years. The work that we do with the children is so rewarding. I love that I received such good training as a literacy volunteer, and that Pennie and I received exceptional training as a human-animal team before working with the community. Couple that with the outstanding partnership with the librarians at the Westminster Libraries, and we have an outstanding program for the children. The children grow in their literacy skills as they grow in their comfort and relationships with the READ dogs. There is nothing more special than to watch a young reader engaged with a good book and an attentive dog!
We receive ongoing evaluation of skills as a human-animal team, frequent program updates from READ, and ongoing continuing education to keep us current on equipment and literature. This program ROCKS! Thank you DPP for all that you do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Randa and I have a retired Guide dog named Lilly. Lilly captured my heart the moment I met her and I knew I should share her love with as many people as possible. Lilly and I visit at a shelter for women and children. She is a star, wiggling her tail as fast as possible all the while giving kisses to all who ask. The women, many of whom have had to give up their own pets, just love the affection Lilly brings to them. Denver Pet Partners is a welcome partner with this shelter. They realize how important the human-animal bond is- even more so to those who have lost everything. Lilly and I are thankful to be able to spend a little time with these women and children in need.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the last nine years, the Englewood Public Library has facilitated Denver Pet Partner’s Paws to Read literacy program. When we were originally approached to host Paws, we would have never thought that it would still be going strong after all this time; and it’s only because of the dedication and pride that the volunteer teams take in the program and the support that DPP provides, that it is. We started off having pet teams only come once a month, but because of the program’s immediate popularity, we added another weekend. Now there are eight permanent volunteer teams that cover four weekends each month. Paws growth and success shows the program continues to be relevant and important to the community we serve. As a librarian, I work with volunteers from different groups and organizations on a daily basis, but I have not found a group that is so giving of their time and as committed to their work as DPP. I am grateful to have DPP part of the our team, and we are proud to be part of theirs. Hillary Cole Davis, Children's Team Lead.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Karen, and I am new to the Denver Pet Partners Therapy Dog Program. After attending a very comprehensive DPP Therapy Animal Handler Course, I knew that my dog and I had found a group of very thoughtful, kind and dog loving people. Diana lead the course and kept us interested and eager to learn more during her well organized all day course. Later, we qualified as a team during their very thorough evaluation. Through interacting with members of this program, my Labrador Retriever and I have grown to appreciate this organization's high standards. My dog can use her talents, magic and understanding nature to help with patients and staff in a variety of environments. Needless to say, we enjoy volunteering our time and helping others as a therapy dog team.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My name is Dianne. I am currently serving on Denver Pet Partners’ Board. Previously I have worked with the organization on curriculum, courses and other projects. It is a joy to volunteer my time to an organization with high standards and professionalism. Denver Pet Partners understands the business of strategic planning, collecting data for measureable results, and what it takes for sustainability into the future and beyond. Denver Pet Partners is a very collaborative organization – one that connects with other organizations and experts in the field that assist in the delivery of Denver Pet Partners mission.

1 Rhett and Teri

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Teri and when I got my Border Collie Rhett, I knew that I needed to share his gift with as many people as possible. We heard about Denver Pet Partners while taking Therapy dog classes at Zoom Room in Denver. I proceeded with all of the process to have both of us registered and evaluated and I am currently volunteering at Rose Medical Center and Deveraux/Cleo Wallace. The joy I receive far out weighs the time spent. Rhett is the perfect Therapy job and he loves going to "work" twice a week. I am so thankful to Denver Pet Partners for their support.

1 marlay

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Marla Y. I first became aware of Animal Assisted Therapy over 15 years ago when I was living in Chicago with my first love, my golden retriever "Bigsby". We worked very informally as a therapy team with a newly started organization called Rainbow. The field has come a long way since then and I'm so excited to have found DENVER PET PARTNERS and to be getting involved again in what has been a long time passion. I've spent the past 15+ years working as a successful advertising and marketing executive and took a break to stay-at-home with my 7 year old son. Now that he is more self sufficient, I can redirect my energy into what I am hoping will be a rewarding use of my time and new "career". I recently completed DPP's Therapy Team Handler Training Course. I was so inspired by their level of professionalism, compassion and dedication to their cause. I will be honored when they approve my 8 month old golden retriever "Snickers" and I as one of their volunteer therapy teams. I am ready to start today, but I need to wait for my 90 lb. puppy to mature into the great therapy dog and reliable partner I know he will be. Anyone that loves animals and is interested in improving the quality of life for those in need would be proud to be part of this amazing organization.

Review from Guidestar

2 Gailmarie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Denver Pet Partners allowed me for 8 years to share my Princess golden retriever with patients and staff at several different hospitals and hospices. The magic that Princess could work with her soulful eyes, gentle paw, or just touching her soft coat was incredible. She was magic for those whose lives she touched. The 8 years that we did pet therapy were some of the most gratifying times in my life. Thank you DPP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gm Berquist