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Jasper puts on his Red Cross bandana and is ready to make some therapy visits.

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So many animals offer comfort to those who need it. If you would like to get your pet ready to offer therapy, here are four places that can help you get started.

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The Red Cross
Jasper, one of our featured pets, is certified by The Red Cross. The Red Cross Pet Therapy program is available at the Clark County service site located in Jeffersonville, Indiana and the Ft. Knox service site in Kentucky.

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Lacey Ryan and her dog Lola who is a Certified Therapy dog. Lacey utilizes Lola in her private practice, Creative Family Counseling

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Pawsibilities Unleashed
Pawsibilities Unleashed provides training, certification, and insurance coverage for Therapy Dogs to visit nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities.

Lacey Ryan, LMFT, owner and therapist at Creative Family Counseling, has been assisted by her Great Dane, Lola, in providing animal-assisted therapy for the past five years. Lola is recertified annually by Pawsibilities Unleashed. Lacey says that Lola offers a calming presence to clients, and can be involved indirectly such as when they pet her during therapy sessions, or directly to teach children social skills. She also can help in transition at the end of an appointment.

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Cara Regenstreif and her dog Bagel following their successful completion of the Handler-Animal evaluation. Cara and Bagel scored at the highest level, and following a mentor visit will be certified as a WAGS Ambassador team.

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WAGS
Linda Laun founded WAGS (Wonderful Animals Giving Support) which is now 20 years old and has 160 volunteer animal/handler teams providing assistance to over 80 area facilities, including hospitals, hosparus, nursing homes, schools, adult day programs, library reading programs. To be part of an animal-handler team, the pet must be at least 18 months old. 

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Pet Love, Inc

Emma Wallace, along with her toy poodle Prince William, says she will always have time to visit people in need. She says “animals know how to make someone feel better.” She founded Pet Love Inc., in 2008, which trains dogs and their handlers for animal assisted therapy. These people-dog teams are active in pediatric convalescent facilities such as Home of the Innocents, in schools, libraries, nursing homes, Hosparus, hospitals, and nursing homes. 

Extra tidbit: Or if you don’t have a pet, maybe now is the time for you to share your love with an animal.

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