Sign In

Las Vegas Therapy Dogs

October 7, 2020

Therapy dog visits have slowly started to pick up again throughout the valley.

As you can imagine, pressing “pause” on a pet visit has been very difficult for all involved.

Kirsten Joyce caught up with volunteers with Michael’s Angel Paws.

At this time volunteers and their dogs have not been able to resume their normal visits at hospitals and schools, but we were able to visit with them at an adult daycare center in Henderson with COVID-19 protocols in place.

Retired air traffic controller Jerome Keever and his shelter dog Ari volunteer with Michael’s Angel Paws.

“Ari is about 10 years old, therapy dog for two years. She loves coming down here to meet you guys,” Keever says.

It’s all about creating smiles through wagging tails.

“She loves meeting new people,” Keever says.

The pair, joined by fellow pooch volunteers Ginger, IMAX and Kobe Bear, waste no time in spreading joy.

“We have about 300 teams that volunteer in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City, as well,” says Stephanie Gerken, executive director at Michael’s Angel Paws.

In March, Gerken made the difficult decision to stop.

“We do work with a lot of immunocompromised individuals, and we just didn’t want to take that risk,” she says.

But now more than ever, the love of a dog is needed.

“Just bring some joy during a day and a season when we all need a bit of pick me up, and need that interaction.”

“I know if I were hospitalized, or I couldn’t have my dog with me, I would appreciate someone bringing me their dog, so i could love on them, and pet them,” Keever says.

And these dogs know it’s time to get back to work.

“She found her place in life, this is what she does,” Keever says.

“They start getting so excited, because our therapy dogs teams when they go out have specific equipment, those dogs know when that stuff comes out, they get excited, they’ve missed the interaction with everybody,” Gerken says.

“We’re here to do a job, and let’s go do it,” Keever adds.

The nonprofit is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in joining the group, you must attend a 12-week training course.

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs At School

    Those who own a dog can attest to their ability to lift mood, improve stress and bring joy by simply being there, unanswering, seemingly all-knowing and always delighted to see you.  Therapy animals are known for their calm and comforting nature, giving people a way to relax, de-stress and interact with a loving pet.  They […]

    Read more

    Wonder Dog

    For those of us with dogs, we know they quickly become major parts of the family. You live for and care for just like one of your own children, and one dog right here in Oklahoma City is beating the odds, and helping others recover as a therapy dog, despite all of the issues he’s […]

    Read more

    Scott And Charlie

    Cherokee Middle School students may do a little more “doodling” second semester starting this month (January), but also will improve their attendance marks because of a special attraction at the school, courtesy of Principal Scott Aden. Aden, an effective, caring administrator, has acquired and will house and handle a young female Golden Doodle (Charlie) that […]

    Read more

    Hope For Veterans

    E5 Therapy opened in April with a different way to help veterans in therapy. They offer canine-assisted therapy along with talk therapy to veterans and veterans’ families in Solano County. Owner Matthew Decker is a licensed clinical social worker in Northern California, focused on helping veterans achieve their mental health goals. Along with his team, […]

    Read more