American Humane Association Honors Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams Volunteer Appreciation Gala to Take Place on December 3 in Denver

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American Humane Association, the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, will honor its 200-plus animal-assisted therapy teams at a special volunteer appreciation gala in downtown Denver on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. Along with their volunteer handlers, more than 60 therapy dogs, two therapy cats and one therapy guinea pig will be recognized for their work in bringing the healing power of the human-animal bond to those in need.

By bringing registered therapy animals to hospitals, child welfare facilities, homeless shelters, mental health centers, schools and many other locations, American Humane Association’s animal-assisted therapy volunteers have helped to enhance the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people. Last year, these volunteer handlers and their therapy animals logged more than 30,000 hours of service, touching more than 120,000 lives at over 50 different facilities.  Not only did these animal-assisted therapy teams help to soothe anxiety and promote healing, but they were also integrated directly into the clinical treatment process to help achieve specific goals within health care, physical therapy, counseling and educational settings throughout the state.

The Animal-Assisted Therapy Volunteer Appreciation gala takes place on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6:30-9pm at the Westin Tabor Center, located at 1672 Lawrence Street in Denver. The volunteer recognition ceremony begins at 7:30pm. The event will be hosted by renowned pet expert and journalist Steve Dale. The program also includes insights and remarks from the new American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., as well as the founder of the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program, Diana McQuarrie. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in 2011.

For more information, or if you would like to cover the event on Dec. 3, please contact Megan Lane at (303) 825-6100 or meganlane@gbsm.com. More information is available online at www.americanhumane.org/human-animal-bond/programs/animal-assisted-therapy.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty and abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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