Therapy Dogs At Work

Our Dogs

Our dogs love people and enjoy being petted. Each dog is screened for temperament, obedience, and health.

Any breed (except coyote or wolf hybrids) or mix over 1 year old may be tested to become a registered therapy dog with Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD).

  • Upon passing the ATD testing, the handler and dog are qualified and have the option to join Therapaws.
  • Handlers follow ATD guidelines and standards to ensure safe and effective visits.
  • Dogs must receive annual exams by veterinarians and maintain their registration with ATD in order to continue participation in Therapaws.
  • For more information on ATD go to

Therapy Dog Visits

Therapy Dog Visits Can Benefit Patients, Residents, Family, Visitors, Students and Staff

Therapy dog visits can make a difference in the people you care for. Benefits can include:
  • Increases morale
  • Increases motivation and optimism
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Empathy
  • Communication

Patients and residents of care facilities are visited in their rooms or in common areas, where one-on-one interaction with a therapy dog makes it possible for positive effects to occur.

Types of Facilities We Visit

Dog/handler teams are assigned to these types of locations for regularly scheduled visits:

  • Hospitals
  • Extended care facilities
  • Other health care settings
  • Schools
  • Libraries

Most Therapaws members reside in Washtenaw County, however there are other groups that serve other counties.

Locations We Visit

  • U-M Hospitals (Michigan Medicine)
  • Ann Arbor VA Medical Center
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
  • Walk & Wag
  • Dreams and Wings
  • Bark for Life
  • And Others
  • University of Michigan
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Washtenaw Community College

Days and Times We Typically Visit

Visits mostly occur during the daytime hours on weekdays. There are also some weekend and evening opportunities to visit.

Request a Therapy Dog Visit

Therapaws to READ

The Therapaws READ program seeks to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered pet therapy teams.

Children enjoy reading aloud to the dogs. Studies have shown the level of reading confidence improved for children involved in this program.

READ dogs visit schools and libraries in Washtenaw County as well as surrounding counties.


Can Therapaws to READ program benefit the children you work with?