Formed in 2004, SuperiorLand Pet Partners (SLPP) is a group of experienced dog handlers who provide animal assisted therapy (AAT) and animal assisted activities (AAA). The handlers and dogs are registered as pet partner teams with Delta Society, an international organization headquartered in Seattle, WA. (www.deltasociety.org) SLPP was formed to bring individual pet partner teams together in a supportive atmosphere to promote the use of therapy dogs in the Marquette County area. SLPP meets quarterly to share experiences, talk about activities and goals and provide support to one another.
The therapy dog program in Marquette County was actually started by Brad Jackson, a physical therapist with Marquette General Hospital (MGH). Upon moving to Marquette in 1996, Brad decided a community organization was needed to foster the interaction of dogs in community health care settings, so people could benefit from the unconditional love that only a dog can give. The Upper Michigan Dog Therapy Partnership was born. This non-profit organization is a community benefit of the Marquette General Healthcare System. MGH was instrumental in arranging to have four local individuals become certified team evaluators through the Delta Society.
SLPP has approximately 20 teams in the area who volunteer with their dogs by visiting hospitals and nursing homes and participating in various activities such as health fairs, bite prevention programs for children and the Read to Me Program at Peter White Public Library. Pet Partner testing is provided 3-4 times per year by our SLPP Delta Society Evaluators, assisted by other pet partner teams.
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