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Join Pet Partners in Celebrating National Therapy Animal Day, April 30

Recognize and celebrate therapy animals, raise awareness of their role in enhancing human health and well-being, and honor the thousands of dedicated handlers around the world who volunteer their time and compassion during visits.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BELLEVUE, WA — Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization in registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, announces the seventh annual National Therapy Animal Day set for April 30, 2021. National Therapy Animal Day was created to recognize all of the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need. Therapy animals and their handlers help people of all ages in a variety of settings including hospitals, veterans’ facilities, schools, and assisted living facilities.

With stay-at-home orders in effect around the world this past year, Pet Partners’ registered therapy animal teams remained dedicated to serving their communities by providing virtual and alternative visits. These virtual and alternative visits provide a form of animal-related engagement (ARE), which is an initiative that supports the use of pet-related stimuli even when the physical presence of an animal may not be possible.

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“Therapy animals and their human handlers help people of all ages experience the incredible benefits of the human-animal bond,” said C. Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners. “It is an honor to recognize our hardworking teams today, and every day, who bring these healing benefits to their communities and improve lives through the power of animals.”

This National Therapy Animal Day, communities everywhere can do the following:

  • Recognize and honor therapy animals.
  • Raise awareness and educate the public about the role therapy animals play in enhancing the health and well-being of humans.
  • Honor the thousands of dedicated handlers (the human members of therapy animal teams) who volunteer their time and compassion during visits.

People are encouraged to show their support on social media by using #NationalTherapyAnimalDay and tagging Pet Partners. Registered therapy animal teams are encouraged to share photos of therapy animals on visits, whether in-person or virtual. Everyone can celebrate by sharing the impact animals have had on your life and community.

Pet Partners will also be hosting a Facebook Live event with therapy animal teams, on April 30 so communities around the country can experience the incredible benefits of the human-animal bond. Visit @petsforhealth on Facebook to register to attend.

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While a majority of Pet Partners therapy animals are dogs, its Therapy Animal Program is open to cats, equines, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, birds, pigs, and even llamas and alpacas. There are characteristics that help identify potential therapy animals, which include a calm and friendly temperament, confidence, and the ability to follow basic commands. Animals should also enjoy receiving attention, being touched, and meeting new people. Take the quiz on the Pet Partners website here to determine if your animal might be suitable for therapy animal work.

For more details on #NationalTherapyAnimalDay, visit here.

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