WOOF stands for We Offer Our Friends. “Our friends” are our personal dogs and are owned and trained by each handler. WOOF has been serving facilities in Peoria, Illinois and surrounding cities since 2011.
WOOF Therapy Dogs is a volunteer organization of registered therapy dog teams serving nursing homes, assisted living centers, grade school reading programs, colleges, library reading programs, children and adult special needs facilities.
Pictured: Our Founding Members. Joy Belsley with Ali, and Claire Putman with Thomas.
What is a Therapy Dog?
Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle and at ease in all situations. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled.
Are Therapy Dogs the same as Service Dogs?
Service dogs and Therapy dogs have distinct differences. Service dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, and disaster areas.
What are the Benefits?
Therapy dogs are most commonly used to help people heal emotionally, physically and mentally. These programs usually visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools and recovery centers. The dog’s presence reduces stress, creates a relationship, helps people feel loved and needed, provides a listening ear without judgment, improves social skills and boosts the confidence of an individual.
Are you accepting new facility requests?
WOOF Therapy Dogs has a relatively small group of teams. While we welcome new facility visit requests, we must take into consideration our current schedule of facilities already in a regular rotation and the location of any new facility.