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OVERVIEW OF PROGRAMS

West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc. (WMTD) supports a wide variety of programs and facilities throughout greater West Michigan.  Requests are regularly received from all types of organizations seeking to establish a therapy dog program.  These are in addition to the programs developed by individual WMTD members.  The only limit to creating a program is the interest and availability of WMTD members.  WMTD is a non-profit organization made up entirely of volunteers.  Our members usually determine if they are able to volunteer at a program based upon their interests, the location of the program, their available time, and if the temperament and training of their dog is compatible to the program.  There is also a need for at least one of our members to serve in a leadership capacity, as a Primary Contact, to coordinate the program with WMTD and the other volunteers

            Multiple categories have been established to better assist members in their search for volunteer opportunities.  The number of handler/dog teams needed for each program generally depends on the needs and desires of the host organization.  Some programs only require one team, while other programs welcome an unlimited number of volunteers.

The majority of our programs are focused on Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) visits.  AAA provides educational, recreational, entertainment, and social interactions with the residents/patients of a facility.  The same activity is usually repeated with different people in a variety of environments, unlike Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) visits that are tailored to a particular person or medical condition that is generally supervised by a professional.

If you are interested in starting a program with WMTD, please fill out the “General Program Registration Form” located under the documents tab on the website.  It can be forwarded to Amy Meinecke, Director of Programs at the below email or the postal address on the form. 

 

PROGRAM CATEGORIES

            Major categories have been established to better assist members in locating and navigating the various programs.


General Programs

Regular on-going programs are listed in this category that broadly include long-term and assisted care facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation and nursing care, hospice, and mental health care, youth and juvenile placement, and other miscellaneous type of programs.  Programs that permit Trial Members to complete a shadow visit are primarily available in this category.  Some examples are:  Helen DeVos Childrens Hospital, St. Marys Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and Wedgwood Christian Services.


SPECIAL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

These are generally one day events that may occur periodically or on an annual basis.  They include parades, festivals, and special events hosted by a variety of organizations.  Frequently these events are held outdoors and are often for public relations and promotion of WMTD.


RUFF READERS

These are reading programs that generally occur in libraries and schools, but may also include special one-day or one-time events sponsored by an organization to promote reading.


PROGRAMS IN NEED 

This is a list of new program requests the WMTD has received but lack a Primary Contact to lead and/or start the program.

                                                                                                                                  

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS??

                      Please contact Amy Meinecke, WMTD Director of Program

WMTD Voice Mail: 616-726-1256
                 wmtdprograms@gmail.com