A therapy pet’s primary function is to brighten someone’s day. The majority of our members are involved in this social side of therapy work. Therapy pets and their handlers visit nursing homes, hospitals and schools to provide emotional support. They put a smile on someone’s face, make their day a little brighter, or bring back a cherished memory.
Our therapy dogs are privately owned and visit facilities on a regular basis. All Music City Love on a Leash members are volunteers. We do not raise and train dogs to be service or companion animals. At the end of a visit these animals go home with their owners. For the most part, our therapy pets are dogs; however we also certify cats and rabbits who have a proven temperament for working with people.
Music City Love on a Leash provides certification procedures for therapy pets and their owners, while working to increase public awareness of the benefits of pet provided therapy. As volunteers of Music City Love on a Leash®, we take our trained family pets to visit residents in assisted living homes and Alzheimer’s facilities, as well as patients in hospitals and hospice care facilities. We also visit schools, libraries, day-care centers and special education classrooms around Middle Tennessee, serving as a teaching tool and enriching educational goals. We’ve recently started visiting colleges & universities to provide stress relief for students during finals.
Music City Love On A Leash is an organized group of volunteers in Nashville (Davidson County) and surrounding counties including Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson, Williamson, Cheatham and Robertson. We are certified though the National Love on a Leash® (LOAL) Headquarters.
LOAL began in the early 1980’s. Liz Palika, an award winning author and dog obedience instructor, began to introduce the concept of pet-provided therapy to the residents of north San Diego County in California. In providing the service, she saw a need for a larger organization to accommodate the growing number of requests she received from assisted living facilities, memory-care facilities, schools and hospitals. Ms. Palika created Love on a Leash® in 1984. The organization was incorporated in 1995 and it is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization.
As of 2017, there are over 2,300 members throughout the United States. In many communities, volunteers have formed chapters to share common concerns and strategies.
Love on a Leash® Pet-Provided Therapy is served by a volunteer board, nationally headquartered in north San Diego County, California. The current Board of Directors includes: Margaret Eggers, Bonnie Biggs, Susie Blake, Keith Edleman, Bev Hodges, Mary Lee Kendrick, Meredith Rose, Sue Subkow, Sheri Wachtstetter, and Randy Willox.
For more information please visit the LOAL National Website at: www.loveonaleash.org