Animal Assisted Therapy & Education
Sharing a common belief in the power of the human-animal bond, DoveLewis partners with Guide Dogs for the Blind to bring animal assisted therapy to the local community through the Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams (PACTT) program. Highly-trained career change dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind and their handlers go through extensive training and assessment through DoveLewis to complete their certification in animal assisted therapy.
Certified teams provide an invaluable community service by furthering human health and well-being through positive interactions with animals. Program teams visit with people of all ages and walks of life, in a variety of settings including: long-term and skilled care facilities, assisted living communities, hospitals, residential treatment centers, schools, libraries, physical rehabilitation clinics, adult day care facilities and hospice.
Therapy Animals vs. Service Animals
Therapy animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have “no pets” policies. Therapy animals usually are not service animals.
Service animals are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990) and are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places.