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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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


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 .


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.