What is Pet Therapy?

Libby Bailey Rose and Daisey

Libby, BaileyRose and Daisey ready for R.E.A.D.

Over one million people all across America benefit from the animal-human bond relationship. Therapy companion animals help people live healthier, happier lives. Badgerland Animal Reading & Comfort Companions (B.A.R.C.C. ) is a nonprofit organization centralized in Dodge County, and also provides services to other communities. The mission of B.A.R.C.C., Inc.®  is to enrich the lives of people of all ages through the use of pet therapy teams and Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.®).

We’d like to take an opportunity to clarify and provide factual information on the incredible services provided by our furry companions. B.A.R.C.C.’s therapy dogs are not service animals. Service animals are trained extensively and exclusively to provide support to one individual who has a physical or emotional disability. By federal law, service animals are allowed in any establishment that their owners enter.

B.A.R.C.C.’s therapy animals are also trained extensively, but for a different purpose. They are temperament tested and evaluated for calm demeanor, willingness to obey, and ability to tolerate human interaction and distractions. The pet and handler are evaluated every two years for registration with a national/international pet therapy organization, which in turn provides ongoing education, support, and liability insurance.

B.A.R.C.C.’s registered therapy teams offer animal assisted interactions with people living in skilled nursing and hospice facilities, hospitals, assisted living sites, and group homes. Teams are also available to provide literary assistance programs to schools and libraries (R.E.A.D.®). This effective program encourages children to enjoy reading and is designed to help build the reading skills of children by providing a unique approach whereby the child reads to the animal.

The registered teams of Badgerland Animal Reading & Comfort Companions conduct dog safety presentations in local schools during which the children learn about safe behavior when greeting a dog and what to do if approached by a strange dog.

To view therapy animals in action, click this link: Therapy Animals in Action

For more information about Pet Therapy workshops or B.A.R.C.C. membership, please contact Diane Wieneke at 920-583-3858 or dianewie@msn.com.  New members are always welcome.


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