Therapy Dog Teams
Who Are We?
As a part of Helping Idaho Dogs, Inc., the focus area of Therapy Dog Teams is also known as Healing Paws.
Our motto is: "Healing Paws, Helping People"
Our mission is to train and provide ongoing support to our volunteer therapy dog teams so they can visit people throughout the community who will benefit from canine comfort and friendship. We do this by mentoring and training volunteers and their dogs, while providing the teams with the resources they need to succeed.
What are therapy dogs and therapy dog teams? A therapy dog or therapy animal is a commonly used term and can refer to one or more categories where a pet dog (or other pet) helps people in different ways. A therapy dog team consists of the dog's handler (usually the owner) and the dog. Read more about the types of therapy dogs here.
What Do We Do?
Healing Paws/Therapy Dog program is designed to take well-mannered, friendly canines and their humans through our process of educating, training, testing and preparing them to become registered volunteer therapy dog teams. One of the ways that we support our therapy dog teams is by establishing relationships within the community, in order to provide facilities and other locations for visits or events.
Where Do We Visit?
Our therapy dog teams are involved in many exciting activities throughout the community, visiting people when they need it the most. We are constantly expanding our list of places to visit and events to attend! Our therapy dog teams visit:
- Libraries where the children read to our dogs. This is a great confidence builder for the children and allows the children to relax while reading to some of the best listeners in the world - DOGS.
- Students in schools - elementary, middle, or high schools and colleges or universities.
- Assisted Living and Memory Care facilities
- Hospice patients
- Psychiatric facilities
- Long-term and short-term medical facilities
- Rehabilitation locations
- Crisis centers
- Community events
- Just about anywhere a person needs us!
Therapy dog teams lift the spirits of those with whom they interact: disabled children, students, staff, patients and anyone who likes dogs. Many times people have had to leave beloved pets behind when their needs changed, and they are cheered by a friendly face, furry coat and a wagging tail. At times people are suffering from depression or going through a crisis, and find relief while they are sharing their time with our therapy dogs. Other times a person will be able to let go of their fear of dogs when they spend time with our wonderful therapy dogs!
At Helping Idaho Dogs, we cherish our relationships with everyone we come into contact with. In fact, our teams become an important part of each person's life, as each person has become a part of ours.