bringing smiles, acceptance, laughter, love

Loving Animals Providing Smiles

All Volunteer Organization

A photo collage of portraits of LAPS teams and LAPS associate members. All members are in their purple uniform shirts and khaki slacks.

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.

Fall 2021 Update

So much has happened in recent months and we are excited that facility doors are reopening.

The volunteers of Loving Animals Providing Smiles and Mini Hooves Providing Smiles 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.

Our recorded videos for retirement facilities and Zoom reading sessions have continued throughout the year.  Now LAPS and MHPS are carefully returning to in-person sessions at selected locations, and with the support of facility staff, we are reconnecting with friends.  The long overdue visits are filled with smiles, stories, and laughter – – truly heartwarming.

LAPS and MHPS are also focused on training and testing new teams who are ready to share their love and time with others.  For teams whose training class was postponed due to the 2020 Shelter-in-Place, LAPS is completing their session in September 2021.  For new teams, LAPS is hoping to offer training classes and team evaluations in early 2022.  MHPS has scheduled training and testing in October and November 2021.   Our goal is to have additional qualified, skilled and prepared handlers and pets available.

LAPS and MHPS are ready to work with more communities and facilities to renew the power of the human-animal bond.  With our pet partners by our sides, we will continue to do this with safety, kindness, joy and appreciation in our hearts and minds.

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.

Please keep up with our activities via Facebook. LAPS and MHPS eagerly look forward to the time when we can be together again in person, sharing hugs, smiles, and stories. Until then, we look forward to connecting online and with social distance. 

Thank you for your continued support !

Marilane Bergfelt
LAPS President and Co-Founder

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

Interested in getting started in Animal-Assisted Therapy with your mini-horse or mini-donkey? Mini Hooves Providing Smiles will be holding a AAT Handling Skills class in October and November. See the download pdf 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 Spring 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!