Tuesday, November 30, 2010

American Humane honors animal assisted therapy

DENVER, Nov. 30, 2010 The American Humane Association, the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, will honor its 200-plus animal-assisted therapy teams at a special volunteer appreciation gala in Denver this Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.

Along with their volunteer handlers, more than 60 therapy dogs, two therapy cats and one therapy guinea pig will be recognized for their work in bringing the healing power of the human-animal bond to those in need.

By bringing registered therapy animals to hospitals, child welfare facilities, homeless shelters, mental health centers, schools and many other locations, American Humane Association's animal-assisted therapy volunteers have helped to enhance the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.

Last year volunteer handlers and their therapy animals logged more than 30,000 hours of service, touching more than 120,000 lives at some 50 facilities.  Not only did these animal-assisted therapy teams help to soothe anxiety and promote healing, they also integrated the clinical treatment process to achieve specific goals in health care, physical therapy, counseling and education.

The Animal-Assisted Therapy Volunteer Appreciation gala takes place on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6:30-9 pm at the Westin Tabor Center, located at 1672 Lawrence Street in Denver. The volunteer recognition ceremony begins at 7:30 pm. The event will be hosted by renowned pet expert and journalist Steve Dale. The program includes American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., as well as the founder of the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program, Diana McQuarrie. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in 2011.

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