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Congratulations to Our Hope AACR Teams


Debbie and Bailey, Julie and Boston, Becky and Lizzy, Terri and Missy, Jamie and Bowzer and Susan and Sophia at graduation in Indianapolis, IN

In May of 2014, six PAWSitiveTherapy Troupe teams were certified as HOPE AACR (Animal Assisted Crisis Response) teams.

HOPE AACR teams provide support and comfort to individuals affected by crises and disasters, from individual traumas to large-scale emergencies. They have comforted people after school shootings, hurricanes, fires, transportation accidents, the loss of first responders and more.

What is Pets for Vets/PAWSitive Therapy Troupe?


The Pets for Vets/PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy program designed to share registered therapy dogs with patients and students in a variety of health care and educational settings.

Is there a Difference Between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog?


Yes! Therapy dogs are NOT “service”, or “assistance” dogs. Service dogs include guide dogs for the blind; hearing dogs that alert their owners to sounds; mobility assistance dogs, which may pull a wheelchair or directly support a person; seizure alert dogs; and others like them. Service dogs are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. People with disabilities can BY LAW, take their service dogs with them wherever they go, including planes, restaurants, sporting events, etc.

Many people are under the mistaken impression that therapy dogs and their handlers have the same rights of access as people with disabilities and their service animals. Therapy dogs are NOT service dogs. They are NOT allowed to accompany their handlers wherever they go. Therapy dogs are invited into hospitals, nursing homes or schools to work with patients or students on very specific tasks, or simply to bring their unconditional love to the many people who need them in these facilities. Therapy dogs and their handlers have no more rights of access than anyone with a companion animal or pet.

Therapy dogs are always first and foremost beloved family pets. You cannot “buy” a ready made therapy dog. Therapy dogs and their owners, because of their interest in therapy work have undergone additional rigorous training to prepare them to function reliably in health care or educational settings. Therapy dogs live at home with their families when they are not working.

Mission Statement


Pets for Vets / PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to sharing registered therapy dogs with individuals in health care facilities, schools and senior homes  — working in conjunction with the health care or educational teams to improve quality of life.

What are Animal-Assisted Activities/Therapy?

Animal-Assisted Activities

Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) share registered therapy dogs with patients or students in a variety of activities such as individual bedside visits, entertaining demonstrations or educational sessions. Animal- Assisted Activities are not necessarily goal-directed, but they are nonetheless certainly therapeutic in nature.

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is goal-directed intervention in which a therapy dog is an integral part of the clinical treatment process. It is directed by a licensed health care or education professional with specialized expertise and within the scope of his or her profession. AAT is designed to promote improvement in physical, social, emotional and / or cognitive functioning / reading skills. This process is documented in the health care record by the health care professional or in the education plan by the education professional.


Order Your 2012 Nutcracker DVD!

Enjoy this 1 hour long DVD of our 2012 "Canine Version of the Nutcracker" performed by our wonderful therapy dogs*. The DVD makes a perfect gift for the animal-lover in your family.

All proceeds benefit the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe Animal-Assisted Therapy program

-- Click to Download DVD Order Form --


*Filming of the 2012 Canine Nutcracker was provided by Chicago Pet Video.


See Our Dogs in Action - Bark for Books Program

Naperville Community Television NCTV17

Our Foundation Dog








Read all about Rosie and
her companion, Becky.