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Therapet

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animals, Health, Health Support

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.

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Therapet is an extraordinary organization that really touches hearts of those in need. What's better than the gentle soul of an animal assisting in your time of need. These highly skilled animals are remarkable and I am always amazed at the things they do for patients in area hosptials and schools. Ann

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so proud that Therapet is celebrating their 17th year or service and I am a part of this awesome organization. They work so hard to raise money to continue provide and growing this service. Way to go Therapet!

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Therapet seven years ago while training my Golden Retreiver. He became a Therapet after passing his temperment test over six years ago and we have been volunteering since that time. It is a wonderful organinzation that touches so many lives with just the touch of these animals. It has been a tremendous oppurtunity for me to volunteer in my community. I am always amazed by what these animals do for people. I believe our community to be a better place because of the services we provide people at hospitals, rehab centers, shcools, and community events. It is a thrill when you walk into a facility with your animal and you hear people say - there goes a Therapet. This just reinforces my belief in the positive influence we have in our community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Therapet is such a wonderful organization. It's totally dedicated to improving people's physical and emotional well-being through loving contact with certified Therapet animals. Our program is completely at no charge to the places we take our Therapets. All of our funding comes from items we sell such as our calendars and from grants we receive. I'm proud to be a Therapet volunteer.

purplepate

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been with Therapet for about a year and a half now. I have a Boxer named Roscoe. We love going to the hospitals and visiting with the patients. It makes people forget where they are and all that is wrong with themselves, even if it's just for a little while. It makes people who owned that particular breed of dog go back to their childhood. They tell you stories of the dogs they had while growing up. I have had so many people tell me that before we came, they were having a horrible day, or they were really in alot of pain that day, and the dogs made them feel better. We had one patient that we visited several times in one of the hospitals, he had cancer and wasn't doing well. I got a call that he had been moved to hospice and didn't have much longer to live. As one of his last wishes, he wanted Roscoe and 3 other Therapets to be at his funeral. Imagine the impact these dogs must have made on him to want them at his funeral. Every time we visit, I am still amazed at the reaction people have to these animals. I could go on forever about the joys of working with this group.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Therapet for 15 years. Therapet has allowed me to watch my dogs perform miracles in front of my eyes. Meeting a different dog each day during a week of therapy allows patients to see a wide array of breeds and types of dogs but because my Hannah reminded a little lady of the dog she had as a child she began to speak. I have witnessed my Abby bring comfort to grieving family members after loss of a loved one. I have seen smiles come to faces that are sad and hurting by the cute sashay of my Annabelle. I have seen the stress-fill body of a child completely relax by the warm fur of my dogs as they lie perfectly still while the child rests next to them.

Therapet has provided my dogs wonderful opportunities to use their gifts of love to reach hurting people of all ages. Therapet has allowed me to indeed be witness to miraculous wonders.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I Love Therapet. It is a wonderful organization that continues to serve the community in amazing ways. The program has now expanded to working with children that have problems reading, and children who have dealt with physical and sexual abuse. I can't wait to see what the program will offer next and enjoy every minute I spend with this organization.

They in no way accept money to cover any grooming fees as reported earlier. We groom, train and volunteer with them without any compensation except the gratitude from the patients, families and staff. Therapet has never talked to anyone in the Chapel Hill about a program and that is concerning.

We work extremely hard to fundraise to cover our costs and I am proud to volunteer with these individuals.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Chris
Therapet does not have a program in Chapel Hill or through that school system. We have never had a fundraising program with Chapel Hill or any other school system. We do not fundraise for grooming expenses, the volunteers do cover that cost themselves. We will investigate the situation as it appears to be someone raising funds using our Foundation without our permission.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Therapet is less than truthful when they talk about offering their services at no cost to the facility. They are asking the community to pay for so-called costs associated with gooming animals for visits. Chapel Hill schools are asking local businesses to donate $45 to cover supposed costs for animal gooming per visit. This is supposed to be an all volunteer group. Thus any costs would be absorbed by the individual volunteer. As far as I am concerned, this group is all about money and ego gratification. They undercut legitimate non profits who really need funding for the charitable work they do.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Therapet for 9 years. Because of these Therapets, patients and their families experience an unexpected break from the stress and trails associated with the circumstances that brought them to the hospital or rehab facility they are admitted to. As you can imagine these circumstances are usually unexpected and difficult life occurrences. It has been both humbling and rewarding to serve my fellow man through the sharing of these animals that God loans us for an all too brief time.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog, Simon, has been a certified Therapet for almost 2 years, & we enjoy our volunteer work at the hospitals & local events. I have seen Simon put smiles on sick children's faces, let patients in ICU pet his head as they love on him, he has caught tears on his face while being hugged by patients or their relatives that received unwanted news.. As a volunteer I have witnessed not only Simon but other special trained Therapets help patients in our community by sharing their unconditional love for humans.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with my German Shepherd, Sadie, for two years now. My Flat--Coated Retriever, Kato, joined us last summer. We have enjoyed working with the other volunteers and patients so much that I am working on certifying a third dog, Texas, a Black Lab/Scottish Terrier mix. When the dogs see their capes and leashes, they know they are going to work. Their whole demeanor changes--they are very focused and attentive to the needs of the patient. It is an awesome experience to behold! I know having pets makes a difference in my life, but I never dreamed they could make such a difference to others. It is a humbling and sacred experience.

7 rae-v

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Therapet when I was twelve, and have been having a great time training and serving with the animals ever since. My favorite place to volunteer is a local rehab center where patients do an entire session of brushing the dogs and throwing balls for them to retrieve as their therapy. The most amazing part of the whole process is getting to know the people you're serving, hearing their stories, and being able to help them through a difficult time in their life. The opportunity to bless other people is of itself a great blessing. I recently certified my miniature horse in the program, and am looking very forward to going to children's camps with him.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Therapet for many years and find that volunteering through this organization is a very positive and uplifting experience for those that we serve, as well as myself. I have seen the progress that patients make throughout their stay in the rehab hospital, and have seen the stress relief (if only for a few minutes)that family members and hospital staff get when they stop to pet or hug the Therapet animals. This unique organization makes a positive impact in the community through its rehab and visitation with patients, community events and many types of childrens' camps.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former hospital administrator, I knew the benefits of animal therapy being used in the healthcare setting. But...as a volunteer in Therapet...I am constantly truly amazed at the benefits of animal therapy. My dog and I have only been in the organization for about 9 months. I knew that my dog and I would make patients happy when we would see them in the hospital or rehab facility. But, I really didn't realize the impact that we would have on that patient's recovery both phycially and mentally. There aren't very many things you can do in life that when you are doing it...you know that you have made an impact on someone that day. I know that every visit I make to a healthcare facility, I have made an impact on at least one person. Therapet is a wonderful organization. Not only because of its leadership, but because of all of the wonderful animals and volunteers who graciously donate their time! Thank you Therapet!!!!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Therapet for 5 years and have certified 4 dogs through the organization. One of the most outstanding qualities of the Therapets is the level of training that the animals go through. These animals are all well behaved and participate in ongoing skills training and evaluation. This provides safety for the patients as well as the animals and gives me confidence that my dog is in good company while working. I can't begin to describe the feeling of fulfillment that I get from working with my dog through Therapet. I've always said that I don't know who get more benefit, the patient, my dog or me. It's one of the most rewarding things I've ever been involved in.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have been involved in Therapet for almost two years. I have a mixed breed dog, Whiskey, who does visitaions, special needs camps and other activies. My daughter works with the mini horses. Working with Therapet is such a unique opportunity to share our special animals in so many different ways. Whether it's doing a hospital visit, special needs camp, rehab work or other activity my heart is always lighter when we are done. I still haven't figured out who gets the bigger blessing-the patients, my dog or me. Thanks to all of my Therapet friends for allowing us along for the journey

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After retiring 12 years ago my wife and I started looking for a volunteer organization that included working with our dogs. We are volunteer puppy raisers for a few service dog organizations and wanted to put the experience and training we learned to use here in our local community for those dogs that are our own pets. Therapet met this need and we have been volunteering now for many years. We especially like Therapet because the animals are required to undergo special skills training and temperament testing before going out in the public. We feel that these requirements put the Therapet organization far above any other animal therapy group. The results are very positve for those we visit with our dogs. It is especially rewarding to see the happiness and love that the dogs share with patients in hospitals. We plan to continue volunteering our services with Therapet for many years to come.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Therapet for about 5 years. I have a therapet dog and volunteer with him at various hospitals and psychiatric prison. I am also one of the miniature horse handlers. I am always inspired by how all of our Therapet animals affect and touch the lives of our patients and families. They calm fears, help relieve pain and take patients and families minds off their tragedies and worries for a while. We constantly hear stories from individuals who tell how at their lowest moments, a Therapet has come and lifted their spirits. I love working with this organization and it's wonderful volunteers, both two and four legged.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I think this is a fantastic organization that cares deeply for the dogs it trains and the community it serves. The joy and healing that the therapets bring to children, elderly, sick and imprisoned cannot be overestimated. The volunteers I have met are dedicated and enthusiastic.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

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 .

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9 sgs1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9 karen-reed

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9 ozzy

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog and I have been members of Therapet for over a year now. It has been an amazing time for me and my dog.I enjoy being able to give back to my community while working with my dog.It is nice to know that you have made a difference in someone's day.I have also met some really nice,like minded people who enjoy sharing their animals and time for a common goal.I wish I would have joined years ago....and I'm sure we will be members as long as we can.This is a GREAT organization.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When you go into a hospital room and you have a stroke victim unable to word associate and you bring a dog in with a weird name. Watching and helping him put the words together is priceless and a victory to the patient and the family watching. When you go to another room where the sick patient is a young father who has an exhausted wife and two very active childern in the room, the distraction to the family is a gift that costs me little but I know holds tremendous value. When you go to ICU and a young ladies grandfather is dying and she comes out and just holds your dogs and crys for a long time and then just stands and says "Thank You" and leaves, you know that you have allowed your animal to help patients, nurses, families any hospital visitor a few minutes of relief from the stress and emotional turmoil. AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES THERAPET SPECIAL AND WONDERFUL.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked as a Traveling Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant for HealtSouth and had the wonderful opportunity to be assigned to the one in Tyler, Texas! While I was there I was assigned to work with Patients on a daily basis with the Therapet Volunteers and their handlers. It was FANTASTIC! These anmimals and their humans give, and give, and GIVE. The Patients love being able to work with the animals and the progress with them is sometimes a miracle! The dogs and cats light up the Patients faces and encourage them to do more than they thought they could. The Patients are able to forget for a little while that they Hurt, are Sad, and focus on the animals instead. It has so many side benefits too, such as lowered blood pressure, raises mood, decreases stress. The Therapet program is truly a Blessing!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 12 years old and am a junior volunteer. I waited two years to use my dog I trained in the hospital. He is a very good dog and the patients love him very much. I love being a member of Therapet. It makes me feel lucky my family and I are healthy and it me feel I am making a difference with my dog.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

Therapet has been a life changing experience for my dog and I. The act of sharing my dog with those that are ill or impaired in some way has given me a more positive perspective on people. Patients and those in need who show their love and gratitude for the simple kindness an animal gives them have reinforced my belief that all humans just want to be loved. Animals give that unconditionally. This group of people who love their dogs and animals and unselfishly share them with others is simple yet remarkable. The positive effects are not only shared by patients and those in need but also by the volunteers, staff and the animals themselves.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Therapet 11 years ago and being a volunteer with this organization is an incredible experience. The joy, comfort and healing all the animals provide to patients, families and staff is truly wonderful.