The 12th Annual Pet Therapy Day was held at Windber Recreation Park on July 23, and raised more than $6,000 for 11 animal non-profit organizations (Habitat for Hounds, Humane Societies of Cambria and Somerset Counties, Nardeccia Spay/Neuter Fund, PAWS House, Somerset County Sheriff Tactical Search Team, Somerset County CART Team, St. Mark’s Pet Food Pantry, The Ethel Fund, The Proper Pit Bull, Trinity Farms Center for Healing)! It was a fantastic day to celebrate the special bond between animals and humans, and to publicize the need for more pet therapists.

Requests for pet therapists have increased dramatically, and the demand far outreaches availability. Animal-assisted therapy can help improve a patient’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning, and is used frequently in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living centers. Animals can also be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness. Therapy dogs can be about any breed or age, but must be calm, well-trained, socialized, and truly love people. A therapy dog must be able to able to adjust well to new environments while staying attentive to a human handler.

Do you think you and your dog have what it takes? Contact Christine Fogle of Golden Girls Pet Therapy to find out more about how you can get your dog certified.