Service, Therapy, and emotional support animals


What is the difference between a service, emotional support and pet therapy animal?

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities.

  • Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses trained dogs or other animals accompanied by their owner or a volunteer to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders.

  • Animal-assisted activities, on the other hand, have a more general purpose, such as providing comfort and enjoyment for those who can benefit from those interactions.

The Coulee Region Humane Society Ambassadors of Love is a volunteer-based, animal-assisted program that consists of family-owned pets and their owners who go into the community to comfort those in need. All of the humane society's Pet Therapy teams have gone through and passed specific training and behavioral evaluations. Pet therapy teams are invited to go to hospitals, schools, nursing homes, community events and many other locations because of their experience and certifications. 

Coulee Region Humane Society does not train nor provide emotional support or service animals. Because we do not train service dogs, and every organization is different, please contact an organization that trains service animals for more information regarding service pets.

Click here for more information about the differences between emotional support and service pets.

What if I qualify for a Service or Emotional Support animal?

Coulee Region Humane Society recognizes the companionship and comfort an animal can give. We are happy to work with you through our normal adoption process and procedure if you are looking to get an emotional support animal. However, we are unable to provide any sort of paperwork/certifications. Emotional support animals require documentation from a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor stating your need for an ESA.

I want to join a pet therapy program, what do I need?

If you think your dog is pet therapy ready and you’d like to volunteer, check out our Ambassadors of Love Pet Therapy Program!