The mission of the Monroe County Humane Association Therapy Animal Program is to make a positive impact on community members by enhancing mental, physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being through animal-assisted activities.
Volunteering for animal-assisted activities offers an enriching and fulfilling experience. While not serving as volunteers, these animals enjoy their roles as beloved personal pets of their handlers, creating a unique bond that enhances the impact of their volunteer work.
What do Therapy Animal Teams do?
Registered teams can be found throughout the community visiting nursing homes, health care facilities, senior living residences, libraries, schools, camps, and events.
How do I schedule a visit from a Therapy Animal Team?
Meet our Therapy Animal Teams
Siobhan & grace
Siobhan & Grace, a Pug, joined the Therapy Animal Program in March 2020. Siobhan has a local photography business and takes Grace along, where she helps people who don’t like to be photographed with her funny face and gentle heart.
Grace & yorick
Grace & Yorick officially joined the Therapy Animal Program in October 2019. Yorick, a rescue kitty, is an adventuresome beast who loves head scratches, walks, and making new friends.
emily & amina
Emily & Amina, a Carolina Dog, joined the Therapy Animal Program in October 2019. Amina loves spending time with young children. Emily is a family therapist, so Amina provides therapeutic support to families and staff at Emily’s workplace.
chris & ziva
Chris & Ziva are best friends! Chris has owned 6 white German Shepherds throughout his life. Ziva earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen diploma at one and a half years old. Since then, the duo has continued to train together.
patricia & daisy
Patricia & Daisy, a Poodle, joined the Therapy Animal Program in September 2019. Daisy loves people, especially children! She thoroughly enjoys going to schools. Daisy even practices her Spanish in the bilingual/immersion classes.
dede & penelope
Dede & Penelope, a Golden Retriever, joined the Therapy Animal Program in October 2018. Penelope brings canned goods to the pantry, carries shoes to her humans when she wants to go outside, and fetches tools to assist with repairs.
carmela & mister
Carmela & Mister, a miniature poodle, joined the MCHA Therapy Animal Program in 2021. Mister loves to play fetch, go on hikes, swim and cuddle. His favorite is just being out and about with Carmela to make new friends and cheer people up!
kayla & ollie
Kayla & Ollie joined the Therapy Animal Program in June of 2021. Ollie loves hiking, swimming, and going on adventures. He is a playful pup that will try to make friends with any new dog or human he meets!
Desirae & Willow
Desirae & Willow joined the Therapy Animal Program in 2021. Willow is a gentle soul who loves people! In their off time, Willow and Desirae do agility and travel to dog shows with her sisters Luna & Cherri!
Susie & Mason
Susie and Mason, a miniature Bernadoodle, joined the Therapy Animal Program in August 2021. Mason loves playing with other dogs and being petted by his human friends! Together, they look forward to bringing smiles and joy to the groups they visit
Kyle & Thor
“Thor is one big teddy bear. His favorite activity is getting pets from anyone and everyone he meets. on weekends, Thor loves hiking and romping at the dog park with his brother”
Karin & Barley
“Barley became part of my family in November of 2020. Barley came to me as a rescue and he is a goofy fun pup that loves people! We look forward to being part of the Therapy Team. I have told Barley about Angel’s (Angel and I loved our work together) adventures as a Therapy Dog and he is excited.”
Jessica, Brandon & Clay
Clay loves swimming, and watching birds and squirrels. His other favorite activity is to go on jeep rides!
Who can participate in the Therapy Animal Program?
Handlers must be 18+ years old, possess a valid driver’s license, demonstrate proof of responsible pet ownership through providing proper veterinary care and grooming, have a professional appearance, and remain knowledgable of team expectations.
Dogs and cats must be 1+ years old, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and free of infection.
Dogs and cats must meet a variety of behavior requirements.
Find more information on program requirements here.
During volunteer visits, you’ll benefit from insurance coverage, ensuring peace of mind for you and your animal. You’ll also gain access to an exclusive Facebook group, a vibrant community space for sharing information, events, tips, and demonstrations. Each volunteer receives a personalized name tag, and your animal will be outfitted with a therapy vest, symbolizing your commitment and role.
Experience the camaraderie of joining forces with like-minded teams, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Your contributions will be met with heartfelt gratitude from the community, and you’ll find deep personal fulfillment in making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
How can I become a Therapy Animal Team?
* Please note that due to limited staffing, the Monroe County Humane Association is not currently onboarding new Therapy Team members. Current teams can still renew their registration.
Follow these steps!
Step #1: Determine if your pet meets the behavior requirements
Step #2: Take this questionnaire to see if your pet is a good fit
Step #3: Complete Handler Training
Step #4: Complete Team Evaluation
Step #5: Complete Team Registration (Pay Registration/Renewal Fee and Sign Volunteer Agreement. A background check will be performed for all new registrations and renewals)