Who we are
How we began
Love on a Leash was started in the early 1980s by early enthusiasts of pet therapy in northern San Diego. As the realization of the positive power of pet therapy started to grow, the organization was founded to provide a framework and certification for people to provide pet therapy to others. We were incorporated in 1995, and are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Over the years, Love on a Leash® has expanded beyond southern California to nearly every State. As of 2015, there are over 2,000 members working as Love on a Leash® therapy teams with their dog, cat or rabbit. In many communities, volunteers have formed chapters to help coordinate visits and share common concerns and strategies.
Love on a Leash®, is headquartered in San Diego County, California. Our all-volunteer Board of Directors includes: Margaret Eggers, Bonnie Biggs, Susie Blake, Keith Edleman, Randy Willox, Bev Hodges, Mary Lee Kendrick, Debbie LaChusa, Meredith Rose, Julie Hernandez, Melissa Cantania, and Sue Subkow.
What we do
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.
Therapy animals are privately owned and visit facilities on a regular basis. All 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 shown that they like people and have the proper temperament to work with them.
Love on a Leash® provides certification procedures for therapy pets and their owners and we work to increase public awareness of the benefits of pet provided therapy. As volunteers of Love on a Leash® we take our trained, family pets to visit residents in assisted living homes and Alzheimer's facilities and patients in hospitals and hospice care facilities. We also visit schools, libraries, day-care centers and special education classrooms serving as a teaching tool and enriching educational goals. Additionally, we visit colleges & universities to provide stress relief for students during final exams.