Irish Therapy Dogs was founded in 2008 by people with a dedicated interest in the use of pet therapy for the provision of comfort and companionship to people in long-term or daily residential care. It is a professional organisation aimed at providing a pet therapy service on a national basis.
Irish Therapy Dogs promotes the advancement of education and development of people with special needs through the use of dogs and creates a general awareness of the importance and benefits of pet therapy.
Irish Therapy Dogs has undertaken the task of establishing a national network of volunteers who, accompanied by their faithful dogs, visit residences where the companionship of dogs is missing. Regional Co-ordinators, whose role it is to support a local group of volunteers under the guidance of Head Office, have been appointed throughout the country.
Irish Therapy Dogs is a voluntary registered charity and is completely self-funded. Funds are raised by membership fees, donations, sponsorship, personal gifts and various fund raising events.
Awareness of the services provided has increased since its foundation and as a result more than 270 Volunteer Visiting Teams make weekly visits to Day Care Centres, Hospices, Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Retirement Homes all across the country.
Irish Therapy Dogs has formed alliances with other voluntary, medical and educational organisations. It liaises with international organisations to ensure the development and implementation of best practice in Pet Therapy in Ireland.
Irish Therapy Dogs fulfills all the legal requirements of a registered charity. It is also compliant with Child Protection and Data Protection law.