Maggie, the above dog helps children learn to read with more confidence.  She is certified as a therapy dog through Therapy Dog International, and takes part in the "Tail Waggin Tutors" program.  For more information on this program please go to:  http://www.tdi-dog.org/ . She is also certified as a "Canine Good Citizen" through http://www.akc.org/events/cgc

Therapy Animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities.

This is Daisy Mae (read her whole story on my blog page).  She is a certified therapy dog through TDI as well (like Maggie above).  Daisy Mae is also a Canine Good Citizen.

They are commonly found visiting hospitals, nursing and rehab facilities, retirement homes, and there are some programs where they provide a listening ear to children practicing their reading skills (in library programs.  See above). They are typically the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others.

Benny is a Border Terrier, and he helps out at a library reading program for struggling readers.  Nothing like a fuzzy non-judgemental ear to help a young reader become more confident!

Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies. Therapy animals frequently only have access to the places they visit only when they are scheduled to work. Therapy animals are not service animals, but service animals can be therapy animals.

For More Information on Therapy Dogs and how your dog can become on, please check out these sites:

Delta Society (Pet Partners Program)

Therapy Dogs International

Therapy Dogs Inc.