Pet assisted therapy open to individuals

In regards to your recent article about pet therapy I just wanted to say that I have been doing pet assisted therapy in Champaign, Clark, Franklin and Licking counties for the past five years ever since I retired from teaching in the Urbana City Schools. I have two registered therapy dogs, Tickles and Toodles. I started the stress relief program at Urbana University where we visit twice a year. We also go to several other universities, libraries plus Heartland, Mercy McAuley Center, Vancrest, Mercy Memorial Hospital and Springfield Regional Medical Center to name a few.

I am a registered tester/observer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) right here in Champaign County which you did an article about on April 5, 2016.

You do not need to be a member of a group to do pet therapy.

Qualifications for ATD begin with a friendly dog, any breed or mix, and an owner/handler who has a desire to share it with those who are no longer able to own a pet, or are in a health facility separated or away from their pets. Dogs must be at least one year of age to be tested and observed. To find out more about ATD visit their website at

If someone is interested in being tested/observed to become a pet assisted therapy team they may contact me right here in Urbana at [email protected] or call 937-653-7136.

“Alliance of Therapy Dogs…Sharing Smiles and Joy!”

Nancy Sleeper

Registered ATD Tester/Observer

Champaign Co. Citizens for Canines Board Member

Vice President of The Backyard Dog Project