Therapy Dogs

General Info / Articles of Interest

Therapy Dogs are used for the benefit, both physical and emotional, of people in hospitals, seniors' residences, nursing homes, day care centres, special needs schools, psychiatric hospitals and many other places where people may be restricted from having pets. The medical profession has widely acknoweledged that stroking and petting animals can have a calming effect, lower blood pressure, and relieve tension.

Just about any dog of sound temperament can become a Therapy Dog. However, certain capabilities must be demonstrated such as accepting a friendly stranger, staying calm, sitting on command, and reacting well to other dogs and/or distractions.

Bralex's Dark Winter's Dream - Peggy Sue


Above Photo: Bralex's Dark Winter's Dream "Peggy Sue"
Qualified through St. John Ambulance and works in several
nursing homes and with children with disabilities. Her temperament
is wonderful and she is a true Therapy Dog in her affection for people.
Courtesy of: Bralex Perm. Reg'd. Labrador Retrievers


Associations & Organizations:


(Listed in alphabetical order.)
  • The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services
    P.O. Box 279
    Winchester, Ontario, K0C 2K0
    Tel.: 613-774-0001
    E-mail: generalinfo@cf4aass.org
    Website address: www.cf4aass.org

    Vision Statement: Our vision is to support the innovation, coordination, and integration of Animal-Assisted Support Services.

    Mission Statement: Our mission is to receive and maintain a fund to build the capabilities of individuals facing physical, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, developmental, social and spiritual challenges through the use of animal assisted therapy and related services.

    Goals: To unite Animal-Assisted Support Services Stakeholders to identify core values and common priorities to stimulate collaborative action in the spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness. To inspire and ensure a consistent level of quality, safety, and End-user satisfaction.

  • East Central Therapy Dogs
    Located in Peterborough, Ontario and consisting of approximately 60 volunteer members who visit nursing and retirement homes in Peterborough, Minden and Haliburton, VON daycare centres, Community Living centres, local group homes and both locations of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.
  • Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA)
    A non-profit organization and affiliate of the International Delta Society. The ITA specializes in providing animal-assisted therapy in the areas of physical, occupational, speech and psychotherapies, as well as special education. Volunteers are trained to provide pet-facilitated therapy in hospitals, schools, mental institutions, nursing facilities, detention homes, extended care centers, and other care-giving facilities.
  • Ottawa Therapy Dogs Inc.
    Ottawa Therapy Dogs Inc. is a volunteer-based organization providing animal-assisted activities and therapy with our members' registered therapy dogs. We are a registered charity serving the National Capital region and Ottawa valley. Our members visit long term care facilities, hospitals, children's treatment centres, summer programs, mental health centres, schools and libraries, and where they are most needed.
  • P.A.T.S. — Pacific Animal Therapy Society
    Operates as an active animal therapy program on southern Vancouver Island. Volunteers with pets regularly visit various levels of care in hospitals, homes, institutions, and schools. We participate in community events, parades, fairs, and displays. Our Pet Loss Support Line offers emotional support. New program, Paws & Tales, involves reading with pets in schools & libraries. Speakers are available to explain benefits of human / animal relationships.
  • Pacific Assistance Dog Society
    PADS' mission is to raise and train dogs for people who are facing the daily challenges of life with a disability other than blindness, in order to provide a greater level of independence and an enhanced quality of life. Serving people in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
  • Pets and Friends
    Pets and Friends is BC's oldest pet visitation program and is now celebrating its 25th year of operation. Serving the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia.
  • "Teddy Bear's" Reading Therapy Dog Tutoring Program
    Location: Toronto & North York, Ontario
    Phone: 647-966-5648
    Email: info@readingtherapydog.com
    Website: www.readingtherapydog.com
  • Thames Centre Service Dogs
    23698 Sutherland Road
    Mt. Brydges, Ontario
    N0L1W0
    Tel.: 519-318-4658
    Email: thamescentreservicedogs@live.ca
    Website: www.thamescentreservicedogs.com
    — We provide highly trained service dogs to qualified individuals.
  • Therapeutic Paws of Canada — A volunteer based therapy dog visitation programme for senior's facilities such as retirement homes, nursing homes, Alzheimer day away centers, hospitals and where there is a need.
  • West Coast Assistance Teams Society
    West Coast Assistance Teams is a non-profit organization that trains and certifies dogs for people with physical and psychiatric disabilities. We also certify therapy dogs for medical and social professionals who are using there dogs in the realm of their therapy treatments.
    — Serving communities of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.


Reference Books:

Service and Therapy Dogs

— Excellent selection of books available from Dogwise.com on the subject of Therapy and Service Dogs.


Note: We are always in need of articles, stories, poems, etc. for the Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website. — Submissions are welcome and encouraged. Please feel free to contact us.

If you are part of a working dog group and would like to be listed here, simply email us with the details at guidetodogs@rogers.com and we would be pleased to include your information.