Recognizing the myriad of benefits that the relationship between people and pets can provide, Bideawee launched its Pet Therapy Program in 1986. We train handlers and animals to be able to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and more to provide love and companionship to those in need.
Through our innovative Reading to Dogs program, a Pet Therapy Volunteer Team is paired with a child who needs help with reading. Children hone their confidence and skills by reading to a nonjudgemental audience. For information on hosting a Reading to Dogs visit in your school or library, please contact your local volunteer manager.
Children and adults in health care and special education facilities visited by our pet therapy pairs enjoy a positive impact on their quality of life. For some, pet therapy visits are their only contact with the outside world. The pairs often become part of the family and eagerly look forward to making their next visit. In turn, the patients and residents delight in the cuddles, love and friendship these visits bring. The opportunity to receive the unconditional love and acceptance of the animals provides medical and emotional benefits such as lower blood pressure, stress relief, decreased feelings of loneliness and depression, and increased responsiveness. Pet therapy teams also visit schools and libraries to help students with learning and reading difficulties in our Reading to Dogs Program.
After passing your Pre-Screening Meeting (a background check is also required), you will proceed to take Bideawee’s Pet Therapy Training Class, which consists of five 1-hour classes once a week. During class, we work with teams to expose them to any situation they would face in a real-life therapy visit, and train them to handle those situations appropriately. At the end of the course is an evaluation, and if you and your animal pass, you will register with Pet Partners, a nationally recognized animal assisted therapy organization, which includes receiving up to 2 million dollars in liability insurance. Upon acceptance, Bideawee will work with you to find the best suitable placement for you to volunteer.
Let us know how we can help you get involved with Bideawee's Pet Therapy Program!