bringing smiles, acceptance, laughter, love

Loving Animals Providing Smiles

All Volunteer Organization

Loving Animals Providing Smiles (LAPS)

Loving Animals Providing Smiles (LAPS) is an all-volunteer organization of well-trained, registered animal-assisted therapy teams. Each team is made up of one handler with one animal. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our clients and improve their overall well-being.

Spring 2022 Update

The new year has brought some setbacks, but the Loving Animals Providing Smiles and Mini Hooves Providing Smiles volunteers are standing strong.  The volunteers are fully vaccinated against Covid, we have additional safety and disinfecting protocols that address the latest health issues, and our teams have learned new skills to help their pets and those we meet have comfortable interactions.

As planned, both groups have focused on bringing in new teams who want to share their love and time with others.  Mini Hooves held a successful training class and team evaluations in late 2021 and now has five miniature horses and four handlers.  This means MHPS can now engage clients in new and exciting ways.

LAPS was able to complete the training and testing of teams held over from the 2020 shelter-in-place and are happy to have two new, lovely teams added to our organization.  On the heels of that work, we started a new training class in January and added four canine teams this month.  These new faces will be joining therapy sessions very soon.

During the most recent virus surge therapy teams were unable to visit in-person yet we continued to communicate with facilities regularly.  Most recently LAPS made Valentines Cards with pictures of the therapy teams to let residents and staff know we miss them.  

LAPS and MHPS get requests regularly from facilities asking for teams to share the power of the human-animal bond with residents, patients, clients and staff.  This takes skilled and devoted teams, and we hope anyone with that passion will consider learning more and possibly joining us. 

a young girl reads to a small grey Schnauzer and his handler. The girl and handler are wearing masks and the visit is taking placce outside in the shade of a tree where the LAPS team and client can social distance, yet still interact.

LAPS and MHPS Therapy Team are ready to work.  With our pet partners by our sides, we will continue to share our time with safety, kindness, joy and appreciation in our hearts and minds. Thank you for your continued support !

Marilane Bergfelt

LAPS President and Co-Founder

Please keep up with our activities via Facebook. 

#LAPS_aat #therapypets #animalassistedinteractions #animalassistedtherapy #therapydog #therapycat#therapyhorse #therapydonkey #napavolunteer #solanovolunteer #sonomavolunteer

Fall 2022 Training

Our Fall 2022 Class for Dogs, Cats, and Bunnies will be held Sept 17 through Oct 22. Download the flyer in the Downloads section below.

Downloads for Canine and Non-Canine Teams
A young brown Boxer dog practices greeting a woman seated in a chair. His handler sits next to him and helps him greet politely.
Class Flyer for Fall 2022 (link opens in a new tab)
A large black Labrador and his handler help an elementary school girl learn how to safely greet a strange dog.
Canine Team Application (link opens in a new tab)
Two LAPS volunteers stand in front of our booth at an outdoor event.
Associate Member Application (link opens in new tab)
A large white cat lays on a chair in the sunshine. The cat is wearing a purple LAPS scarf around his neck.
Non-Canine Team Application (link opens in a new tab)
Downloads for Mini Hooves Teams
Two mini hooves teams and a cat team pose outside a facility.
Mini Hooves classes are finished for 2021.
An elderly woman pets the muzzle of a brown miniature horse. The horsse is wearing a purple harness and tennis shoes.
Mini Hooves Team Application (link opens in new tab)
A brown miniature horse visits with clients at a senior facility. His handler stands beside him.
Mini Hooves Associate Application (link opens in new tab)
A palomino mini horse poses for the camera with his two LAPS handlers. The handlers kneel beside him.
Mini Hooves website coming soon!