Angel On A Leash Therapy Dog Teams Touching Lives All Over The Country

The Bible says that "A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality," and Angel On A Leash therapy dog teams are living up to that, in more places than ever before, every single day.

Angel On A Leash began as a charitable activity at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian for the Westminster Kennel Club less than three years ago. Beginning with a handful of teams, the program quickly grew to include nearly 30 teams at MSCHONY, and soon expanded into the Ronald McDonald House of New York City and Providence (Portland, OR) Health Care Center as well.

In the summer of 2007, Angel added New Milford (CT) Hospital and New Alternatives for Children in New York City to its facilities list. Recently, in partnership with Mid South Therapy Dogs, Angel On A Leash teams have begun to visit at the world-famous St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and many more facilities in Memphis, TN. In October 2007, Angel teams became part of the Caring Canines therapy dog pilot program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The newest addition to the Angel family is Hackensack (NJ) University Medical Center.

Angel On A Leash is now an independent charity, with its 501(c)(3) application pending with the IRS. In each of the past three years (2005, 2006, 2007), Angel On A Leash teams and friends have been recognized in ceremonies on the floor of Madison Square Garden during Westminster's renowned all breed dog show.

Wherever they go, Angel On A Leash teams bring their famous unconditional love and spontaneous benefits from interaction between the patient and the dog and its human partner, promoting smiles, conversation and positive emotional responses. The visits also touch the families and staff. The use of therapy dogs has been shown to help reduce stress for pediatric patients and their families. Scientific studies are showing the many benefits, ranging from encouraging smiles and conversation, to motivating patients during physical therapy.

In many of the facilities they visit, Angel teams have expanded their roles, adding more involved activities in Occupational / Physical Therapy Department. There the dog becomes an integral part of the treatment process, working with a health professional to promote specific goal-oriented improvements in physical, emotional and cognitive skills of the individual patients.

For more information and photos: David Frei (646) 339-5577 david@angelonaleash.org

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