What is a therapy dog?
A therapy dog provides comfort, emotional support, and affection to people in need. These dogs are specially trained to interact with individuals who are struggling with physical or mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, stress, or trauma.
Therapy dogs visit various settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and disaster areas, to provide comfort and support to people who may benefit from their presence. These dogs are not considered service animals, as their role is to provide emotional support rather than perform specific tasks.
Therapy dogs are typically well-behaved, friendly, and calm. They are trained to respond to various commands and social cues and are comfortable being touched and petted by strangers. Additionally, therapy dogs undergo extensive training and certification to ensure that they are safe and effective in their role.
About Project Pup
Since 1984, Project PUP has been providing pet visits to health-care facilities bringing comfort and joy to everyone they meet. Our group serves the Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
PUP stands for “Pets Uplifting People.” The group is a nonprofit organization of about 400 volunteers. The PUP volunteers screen pets for visiting nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and air ports. The pets are screened for temperament and behavior.
Such visits go on across the country. The pets love the attention, the people visited get the joy of pet companionship and our volunteers have the heart warming experience of reaching out to others. Studies consistently show the “pet therapy” visit boosts spirits and uplifts everyone involved.
Due to insurance rules we are not permitted to do home visits.
Interested in making a difference?
We’re always looking for dogs and cats to join the PUP family. No special skills are required, but basic training is required of your animal and CGC is a plus . Mostly, we’re looking for friendly, gentle pets who are hungry for human attention. (Not just the attention of their own humans, but the attention of strangers.) And for friendly, gentle humans who have a nice way with animals and people and the time and desire to volunteer in their communities.
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