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Animal Therapy

Fostering the therapeutic bond between people and animals since 2005, we are the only program of its kind in the Big Bend region.

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What is Animal Therapy?Animal Assisted Intervention InternationalInternational Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations seal

Whether it is helping a child learn to read or helping a grown man learn to walk again - with over 200 teams, these handler-animal teams are making a powerful impact both clinically and emotionally with patients and staff in over 60 facilities in the Big Bend area.

Our Services

Medical Rehabilitation 

Hundreds of clinical trials have shown that petting an animal reduces blood pressure and heart rate, thus reducing stress and anxiety. It also releases oxytocin and endorphins, which help patients feel better and aid in their healing. Our therapy animals provide motivation and even pain management for patients experiencing difficulty in their rehabilitation. 

Senior Services 

Animal Therapy teams visit nearly all facilities serving seniors in the Big Bend. That’s because interacting with animals is proven to enhance their socialization skills, and increases their desire to socialize. Therapy Teams also help seniors manage loneliness and depression. 

Courthouse Therapy 

We provide Animal Therapy to child and adult victims of violent crimes to help them provide accurate testimony in court that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them. We work in child dependency courts as well as criminal courts in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla and Jefferson County Courts.

Reading Education Assistance Dogs—R.E.A.D.

Animal Therapy Teams work in various Leon County and Wakulla County schools to assist reluctant readers. Students in the program enjoy weekly sessions practicing reading aloud to a handler-animal team. R.E.A.D.® is an international program that produces measurable results in improving self-confidence, as well as reading and speaking skills.

Volunteering at Senior Day


Interested in becoming a trained animal therapy team?

Become A Volunteer
A labradoodle therapy dog

Member Resources

Resources for current Animal Therapy team volunteers.

Access Member Resources