Animal Therapy Services and Programs

Animal Therapy Teams visit hospital patients, rehabilitation centers, assisted living and long-term care facilities, hospices, adult daycare centers, public schools, courthouses and more.

Medical Rehabilitation

Hundreds of clinical trials have shown that petting an animal reduces the 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. Therapy animals provide motivation and even pain management for patients experiencing difficulty in their rehabilitation. Facilities we visit include:

  • Tallahassee Memorial Outpatient Rehabilitation Center
  • Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center
  • Tallahassee Memorial Emergency Center – Northeast
  • Florida State Hospital
  • Tallahassee Memorial Hospital
  • Select Specialty


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, including their desire to socialize. Therapy Teams also help seniors manage loneliness and depression. Each facility listed below receives at least one scheduled visit per month by a group of four to six dog teams:

  • Clare Bridge of Tallahassee
  • Broadview
  • Cherry Laurel
  • Elder Day Stay
  • St. Augustine Plantation
  • Tallahassee Senior Center
  • Sterling House of Tallahassee
  • Seven Hills Health and Rehab
  • HarborChase of Tallahassee
  • Westminster Oaks
  • Allegro

Other Facilities

Animal Therapy Teams assist in many other therapies, including grief therapy. They provide their loving touch to people in crisis, people with limited abilities and those having difficulties connecting with others. Visits to these facilities usually involve small groups or single teams. Facilities we visit include:

  • Big Bend Hospice/Hospice House
  • Refuge House
  • Capital City Youth Services Shelter
  • United Cerebral Palsy/Lifelinks
  • H.O.P.E. Community
  • Pyramid Inc. and Pyramid Studios


Courthouse Therapy

Tallahassee Memorial provides Animal Therapy to victims of violent crimes and children to help them provide accurate statements in court. These teams help traumatized victims give statements and 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.

You can learn more about courthouse therapy programs and how they benefit the communities they serve at Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs website.



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 pet and a human partner. R.E.A.D.® is an international program that produces measurable results in improving self-confidence, as well as reading and speaking skills. Schools and facilities we visit include:

  • Maclay School
  • The Character Center
  • Chaires Elementary
  • Cornerstone Learning Community
  • Desoto Trail Elementary
  • Buck Lake Elementary
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Roberts Elementary
  • Hawks Rise Elementary
  • Swift Creek Middle School
  • Shadeville Elementary
  • Kate Sullivan Elementary
  • Gilchrist Elementary

The READ Bill of Rights

Tallahassee READS!