Therapy Animals of Utah is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the comfort, love, hope, and healing of the human-animal bond. We are Community Partners of the internationally recognized Pet Partners organization, and we share their mission of demonstrating and promoting positive human-animal interactions to improve the physical, emotional, and psychological lives of those we serve. We do this through four programs:
- Formal training of therapy animal handlers by licensed instructors using the Pet Partner training course and hands-on demonstration and practice; evaluation of therapy teams by licensed team evaluators using the Pet Partner Team Evaluation; assistance with placement and support of therapy animal teams with shadowing and criteria-based mentoring programs; and site assessment of facilities and training of staff to maximize the effectiveness of the volunteer therapy animal services with their clients.
- Direct service by volunteer visiting therapy animal teams in hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, mental health facilities, schools, universities, libraries, and the Salt Lake airport.
- Public education presentations and booths at universities, schools, health care facilities, and public events like Strut your Mutt, community fairs, and farmers’ markets concerning the benefits of animals as teachers, healers, and essential contributors to human health and wellness, especially as visiting therapy animal teams.
- Participation in research concerning the effects of human-animal interactions in therapeutic settings, particularly in regards to visiting therapy animal teams.