Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 18A

Bonu
conte s
nt

Happy endings
from Happy Tails
Pet therapy provides comfort,
connection and healing

STORY BY PAMELA A. KEENE * PHOTOS COURTESY HAPPY TAILS PET THERAPY

Sometimes just being able to pet a soft,
purring cat can give comfort to a patient.

A

s president of Roswell-based
Happy Tails Pet Therapy, Tim
Webb has an ongoing
challenge: signing up and training
enough volunteers with pets to meet
the needs of all the facilities that
want visits.
"Right now we have about 300
dogs-70 to 80 breeds-plus six to
eight cats and three to four rabbits,
and it's far from enough to serve all
the organizations requesting pet
visits," Webb says.

Happy Tails Pet Therapy was
founded in 1991 to provide
physical, social, emotional
and cognitive therapy.
His 5-year-old Siberian husky,
Valor, and other members of Happy
Tails Pet Therapy visit nursing
homes, senior-citizens communities
and hospitals. The group also
provides pets to assist with rehabilitative physical therapy for stroke and
surgery patients.
"Our volunteers regularly work
with about 90 groups in the greater
Atlanta area, but we have at least
100 more on our waiting list," he
18A

Happy Tails Pet Therapy volunteer Jeff
Petermann sits with his dogs, Charlie and
Nelson, during a visit to Discovery Village
senior community in Suwanee. Charlie and
Nelson together have completed nearly 700
Happy Tails patient visits.

says. "We visit with kids and adults
and can be available days, nights,
weekends-pretty much any time."
Over the years, Webb says he
and the Happy Tails teams have seen
many major breakthroughs.
"A child who hadn't spoken to
his family, caregivers or doctors in
several weeks just opened up and
started talking to one of our therapy
dogs," Webb says. "And we've been
told that people needing physical
therapy say it's much more fun when
a pet is involved in such things as
playing catch or just walking down
the hall than if they do the therapy
on their own."
Happy Tails Pet Therapy was
founded in 1991 to provide physical,
social, emotional and cognitive
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

A young patient at the Ronald McDonald
House shares a sweet moment with one of
Happy Tails' bunnies.

therapy. Pet owners who are interested in being volunteers must attend
a one-hour volunteer orientation and
have a veterinarian provide a medical
evaluation of their dogs, cats or
rabbits. Happy Tails then conducts a
pet/handler evaluation before
completing a two-hour handler-training session and a one-hour observation visit with the pet. All participants
must agree to uphold the Happy
Tails Code of Conduct.
"The human-animal bond is so
amazing," Webb says. "We just need
more people and their pets to
volunteer with us to bring a positive
influence into the lives of people
who need it."
Pamela A. Keene is a freelance
writer from Flowery Branch.
For more information or to join Happy
Tails Pet Therapy, visit happytailspets.org.
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.happytailspets.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - December 2017

Contents
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 18A
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 18B
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 24
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 25
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 27
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 28
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 29
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 30
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 36A
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 36B
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40E
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40F
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40G
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 40H
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 42
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - 43
Georgia Magazine - December 2017 - Cover4
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