MADISON – Dogs with Therapy Partners Inc. profoundly affect people that they meet. Their comforting outcome may be hard to explain yet undeniable to a lonely child or an adult in pain.
Executive Director Lyndsay Coats was introduced to Therapy Partners circa 2006 when she and her family attended a Buddy Walk for individuals with Down syndrome. “We saw how excited children were to interact with the therapy dogs. I researched therapy dogs and saw (how) they could help people in the hospital, assisted living, schools and elsewhere,” Coats said.
Coats was convinced to give back to her community when she had time and the right dog, After several years, she found Bella and they became a Therapy Partners team in 2012.
Therapy Partners does not charge a fee for visits. The non-profit relies on donations and class fees from Kind Hearts Dog Training Center.
Therapy Dog teams visit residents in nursing homes or assisted living who feel isolated or depressed. After a dog’s visit, nurses witness patients smiling for the first time.
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Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED