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Therapy Dogs United, Inc. ~ Dogs Supporting People. We are a 501(c)3 public charity. Our visitation and research-based programs are scheduled as group and individual sessions. All therapeutic or animal-assisted therapy dog visits are made by certified therapy dog teams registered through our nonprofit agency. Our services are provided as a community service throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania (Erie and Greater Pittsburgh region) and Western New York.
Our dedicated team of certified volunteers work hand-in-hand with medical, educational, and social service professionals or one-on-one with patients to provide therapeutic and physical therapy. TDU makes daily visits to schools and learning institutions, book stores, homeless shelters, senior and nursing communities, hospice facilities, family service organizations, reading clubs, rehabilitation centers, and beyond. With permission, we often provide a photo of our working therapy dogs for the Member Agency to keep. Visits to large groups are typically followed up with an "official" card from our therapy dog teams.
What is a Therapy Dog?
A therapy dog is a friend to everyone! Therapy dogs are extremely patient and loving - and provide great companionship. Therapy Dogs United, Inc. brings only the best-natured, and most well-trained dogs to your location, free of charge! Reliability and training is the backbone of our agency. We visit hospitals, rehabilitation and hospice facilities, schools, senior centers, nursing communities, homeless shelters, homes for youth at-risk, bereavement centers and beyond. Our successful outreach programs are tailored to meet your specific needs...and our programs are growing every day! If you're looking for emotional or physical support, look no further - you've come to the right place. Anyone can benefit from the unique animal-to-human bond. It's not just our mission; it's our personal commitment to you.
Did You Know?
Medical science shows that interaction with a therapy dog can reduce blood pressure; promote physical healing; reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression; and provide emotional support. Our dogs love human contact and have no language barrier! We'd like to show you the calming and therapeutic effect that a therapy dog can have on your patients, clients or residents! In December of 2011, Therapy Dogs United helped grant a special wish through the Twilight Wish Foundation, Erie Chapter, for a senior in need. To read the full story, click here.
What Does a Therapy Dog Do?
Sometimes a therapy dog just sits or lies quietly while being petted - listening to story after story about a nursing home resident's former dog. Sometimes a therapy dog will visit an elementary school to help teach children about the humane care of animals, or join in during story time to help relax the group. But, did you know that a therapy dog can help a child to learn? A child who has difficulty reading is the perfect candidate to curl up alongside a therapy dog to enjoy a good book. Studies show children find the non-judgmental ears of a therapy dog the perfect choice to hone and improve their reading skills. A therapy dog may also work with disabled or autistic children. In a hospital setting, a therapy dog might visit patients in pediatrics, oncology, or even hospice centers. Sometimes a hospital will invite a therapy dog to visit the emergency room because of the calming effect on patients, doctors, nurses and staff members working in the high-stress environment.
How Can a Therapy Dog Help?
Visiting with animals can help you feel less lonely and less depressed. People are more active and responsive both during - and after - a visit with animals. Medical studies and clinical research show that a therapy dog can not only have medical benefits - such as stress relief, or lower blood pressure - but provide a sense of comfort, confidence, and companionship.
Can My Therapy Dog Be Used as a Service or Guide Dog?
NO. Therapy Dogs United, Inc. only certifies therapeutic visitation and animal-assisted therapy dogs for visits with the public at large. These certifications do not fall under the service or guide dog classification, meaning, neither has public access rights or the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as a Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog (including PTSD or Psychiatric Support Dog). A Therapy Dog registered with Therapy Dogs United, Inc., is NOT recognized by the ADA (American with Disabilities Act), therefore, does not have access to public places, such as shopping centers, restaurants or public transportation. A TDU certified therapy dog is NOT to be referred to, considered or identified as, a Service, Guide, Emotional Support, Medical Alert or Mobility Support dog. We do not certify therapy dogs for individuals suffering from an illness or a disability.
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Let us bring joy and laughter to someone's life today. To learn more or to schedule your therapy dog visit, call (814) 456-DOGS.