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.
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
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
categories have been established to better assist members in locating and navigating
the various programs.
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
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.
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
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.
contact Amy Meinecke, WMTD Director of Program