“I cannot talk. I have 4 legs. I have paws. I wag my tail when I am happy. I whimper when I am sad. I have arrived. Pet me and you will smile. I will calm you. I’m here to help you remember the good things in life. I won’t offer solutions. I will just listen. I am a therapy dog.”
In 1998, a retired Emergency Department Nurse felt that the Steamboat Springs
community had a sincere need for animal assisted therapy services.
Thus, Heeling Friends was created.
Heeling Friends, a non-profit organization, offers its genuine nonjudgmental,
touching animal-assisted therapy program to Routt County’s hospital,
elementary schools, senior citizen centers, extended care and rehabilitation centers,
and seasonally at The Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
Our purpose is simply stated: "to bring comfort and smiles to all those encountered"
Heeling Friends is totally comprised of volunteers: pet and partner teams,
the board of directors and the animal assisted therapy (AAT) evaluators.
Heeling Friends is an affiliate of Intermountain Therapy Animals based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Our HF pet and partner teams are trained, evaluated and registered by ITA trained evaluators.
To provide a non-threatening form of motivation
To increase attainment of specific goals for those in need
To bring a sense of community and caring
To facilitate a sense of a friendly environment
To increase the healing processes for illness and/or trauma
To allow self-expression without restrictions
HF teams are registered therapy animals who have undergone strict educational,
training and evaluation testing. All animals have been tested for health,
safety and temperament and required skills.
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