Alliance of Therapy Dogs brings smiles and joy to people in need

Animals and Pets

AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – Alliance of Therapy Dogs is a volunteer organization made up of dedicated therapy dog handlers.

Their goal is to provide testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who are involved in volunteer, animal assisted activities.

“We take them to hospitals, to nursing homes, to schools, to churches, to finals frenzies at colleges. The motto of ‘Alliance of Therapy Dogs’ is ‘sharing smiles and joy’; and I think we get that on both sides. It comes from the people and it also comes from the people they visit. We will get reactions from people in hospitals and nursing homes or assisted living centers. When they won’t respond to people, the will respond to the dogs,” said Lynn Ealey, a Tester & Observer, at Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

The folks at Alliance of Therapy Dogs want to form a network of caring individuals and their special dogs.

If you want to get your dog involved, there are a few things you need to consider.

“For me, it starts all with the dog. The dog has to to want the attention; but in order for them to become a member of ‘Alliance of Therapy Dogs’, we do not require formal training, but the dog has to pass a handling and temperament test and then they have to pass three observation visits before they can actually become certified and registered to get their ID,” said Ealey.

“If someone is at home and they have a dog and they think their dog can become a therapy dog, is there a process they can go about in getting them involved in that program?”

“Yes. The best place for them to start is at the ‘Alliance of Therapy Dogs’ website, which is therapydogs.com. There is actually a video of the test that they can watch and see if their dog could pass the test. We will also be at Hollywood feed next Saturday, the 26th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. where you can meet a variety of therapy dogs, pick up any information, ask any questions, and we will be there from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. next Saturday,” said Ealey.

“How does it make you feel when you go into some place and you see these people react the way they do to these therapy dogs?”

“The joy is just overwhelming. There’s not a description for it and there are some times that it will just literally bring a tear to your eye to see the reaction of somebody that you’ve been able to bring some happiness and joy into their day,” said Ealey.

For more info on Alliance of Therapy Dogs CLICK HERE

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