Organizations that sponsor therapy animals that work with schools, libraries, hospitals and convalescent homes. Some city recreation departments offer therapy training for dogs.
BARK Therapy Dogs (562) 235-8835
BARK provides therapy dogs to schools and libraries to encourage children to read. BARK dogs also attend community events and visit colleges, hospitals, senior centers and nursing homes. They evaluate new teams every few months, provide all supplies, and will try to find a location near you. They are a recognized AKC Therapy Dog group. www.barkdogs.org
Orange County SPCA (714) 964-4445
Offers four pet-assisted therapy programs. PAWS dogs (Pets Are Wonderful Support) and their owners visit hospitals, assisted living facilities, women’s shelters, and children’s homes throughout Orange County. The Canine Literacy program helps reduce the anxiety students feel when reading aloud. Kindness Kids is a humane education program for grades K-5. PANDA is an innovative program with the Orange County District Attorney’s office where dogs comfort child victims of abuse while their cases are being prepared for trial. www.orangecountyspca.org
Pet Prescription Team (562) 694-8090
Assists pet owners in training their pets to become therapy animals. They offer therapy training classes, therapy certification and AKC CGC testing for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, special institutions, libraries and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. Classes in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. www.petprescriptionteam.com