Ambassadors of Love

The Coulee Region Humane Society's Pet Therapy program began in 1985 with very special dog and one very dedicated volunteer. Today, with an average of 70 Pet Therapy Teams, our visits touch the lives of nearly 60,000 Coulee Region residents every year.
 

What is Pet Therapy?

Pet Therapy (also known as Animal Assisted Therapy) uses trained animals to enhance a person's physical, emotional and social well-being. The gentle, non-judgmental presence of a therapy animal boosts self-esteem, reduces anxiety and facilitates healing.

Our Ambassadors of Love Pet Therapy animals are not service animals. Rather, they are trained and certified pets that are invited into public and private places to provide comfort, relaxation and enjoyment to others. To learn more about the difference between pet therapy animals and service animals, including emotional support animals, click here.
 

Our History

The Coulee Region Humane Society Pet Therapy Program Ambassadors of Love began in 1985. Dr. Fred, our first therapy dog, was a stray brought into the Coulee Region Humane Society where a wonderful volunteer became inspired by his sweet and gentle disposition. Today, Ambassadors of Love consists of many Pet Therapy teams whose visits touch the lives of more than 65,000 residents in the Coulee Region each year!
 

Where will you find our Pet Therapy teams?

Our Pet Therapy teams love supporting our community and representing the Coulee Region Humane Society throughout the community at nursing homes, memory care facilities, mental health crisis cents, substance abuse and recovery sites, Juvenile Detention Centers, group homes, alternative schools, public and private schools, libraries and more. Teams also make regular appearances via children's programs, our very own Read to Rover program and other educational programs. Our Pet Therapy Program is also very involved in our local hospitals. Our special hospital teams bring unconditional love and comfort to so many patients and their families. 

 

 

What do I need to do to become a Pet Therapy Volunteer?

Our program welcomes all kinds of animals as long as they are appropriate for therapy work. We expect the therapy animals in our program to be polite and have good manners, but the outstanding quality of a therapy animal is that he or she genuinely enjoys meeting new people and actively seeks out their affection. If you think that you and your animal could be a great addition to our group, or you have specific questions about our program requirements, please contact Erin Olson, pet therapy coordinator, for more information at 608-781-4014 or erin.olson@couleehumane.com.

Please note: Ambassadors of Love is not able to have service dogs become Pet Therapy Dogs within our program. People with disabilities however can be tested with another dog that is not a service dog. The service dog and potential pet therapy dog must go through the testing procedures at the same time.

 


 

Pet Therapy Requirements for Dogs

  • Must be at least one year of age or older
  • Must be spayed or neutered
  • Successful completion of the CRHS Canine Good Citizen training and test (Cost is $84.00) or be registered with a National Pet Therapy Organization within one year of applying to Ambassadors of Love
  • If you have or are planning on getting CGC training through another organization, you must complete and pass the CGC Plus assessment given by our shelter trainer. Cost for this assessment is $25.00.
  • Current Rabies Vaccination
  • Current Distemper Vaccination
  • Current Dog License (if required)
  • Annual Fecal Examination
  • Yearly Wellness Exam
  • Completed Pet Therapy Volunteer Application

Pet Therapy Requirements for Cats

  • Must be at least one year of age or older
  • Must be spayed or neutered
  • Current Rabies Vaccination
  • Current Distemper Vaccination
  • Current Cat License (if required)
  • Annual Fecal Examination
  • Yearly Wellness Exam
  • Completed Pet Therapy Volunteer Application



 

 

 


Support of the Power of Pet Therapy

Have you or someone that you know felt the gentle presence of a therapy animal? You can help ensure that our Pet Therapy teams continue to make a positive impact on people's lives by contributing to the Pet Therapy Endowment Fund.

 

Our Mission Statement 

 Love indiscriminatel
Give a nudge and a comforting paw
Break through the loneliness
Be a companion on the road to recovery
Teach humanity
Bring peace
Let miracles of love and trust unfold