Loving Animals Providing Smiles serves a variety of clients in very different settings and locations. New members are encouraged to visit several programs without their pet in order to observe how teams interact with clients and to find the program that best fits the team’s schedule and interests.
All new LAPS teams receive hands-on training prior to meeting clients so they can practice their listening and conversational skills. In addition to the Pet Partners® home study course, LAPS members also receive a manual with extensive guidelines and suggestions for successful interactions with a variety of clients.
This is only a partial listing of our current programs, special request visits and one-on-one sessions are not included. New facilities are added frequently.
To observe a visit, please arrange first with the program coordinator by calling the LAPS at 707 / 265-6642.
LAPS teams generally visit ambulatory, well-elderly residents in a common room, although room visits may be requested for residents who are bedridden. more...
These types of programs are meant to allow relief from everyday events through positive interactions, smiles and laughter. Older persons can find themselves depressed, isolated and frightened due to a number of factors including loss of familiar surroundings, illness or injury. These people often remove themselves from such situations by becoming solitary and emotionally detached. A visit from a friendly LAPS member and pet can act as a “bridge,” making the environment more home-like.
Animal-assisted therapy with older adults has many goals: to give the residents a special activity to anticipate, to provide a feeling of self-worth, to relieve stress (through the touching and petting of animals), and to give individuals the opportunity to communicate with other animal lovers including therapy team handlers, staff members and other residents.
Several of our current senior facilities also have memory care/dementia units, and LAPS teams will usually split their visiting time between the two populations.
- Aegis of Napa
- Emeritus at Villa Del Rey (in Napa)
- Fairfield Senior Center
- The Meadows of Napa Valley
- The Springs of Napa
- Paramount House (in Vacaville)
Hospitals and Skilled Nursing
The goal of a LAPS team visit in this venue is to relieve stress, give individuals a break from everyday circumstances, and to give encouragement to individuals, their families and even staff. more...
Our teams have a good relationship with facility staff and work under their direction to insure that the client’s well-being is always the first consideration.
It is not uncommon for visiting family members and loved ones to take time to cuddle a pet themselves as well as participating in the team’s interaction with the client.
- Sonoma Valley Hospital
Children & Teen Programs
Additional training and skills for both the handler and pet are generally required for working with special needs children and troubled teens. more...
These children often do not understand how to care for others or how to communicate in a positive way. Through working with therapy teams, they experience first-hand how an animal’s love is completely undiscriminating and unconditional, and that the handlers are positive, adult friends who do not pass judgment nor hold grudges.
Since children typically learn through doing, volunteers work with students in a variety of classroom lesson plans incorporating math, reading, teamwork and communication. Through ongoing, organized sessions children begin to recognize how to better communicate to their peers. This focus often translates to compassion for others as well as increased self-esteem.
Troubled teens are a population often overlooked in our community. By the time therapy teams become part of their lives, these individuals have participated in harmful and/or damaging activities. LAPS members put all preconceived ideas aside and treat these young people as each of us would like to be treated – with respect and consideration. These sessions are meant to break through hard shells and show teens a better way to communicate with others through fun, relaxed activities.
- Napa Unified School District (selected elementary school sites)
- Napa County Juvenile Justice Center
CAPERS - Children's Reading Program
Children And Pets Enjoy Reading Success is a new LAPS program to provide one-on-one reading assistance to elementary schoolchildren. more...
Working with local school districts and organized after-school programs, LAPS has produced a program based on national guidelines, but incorporating reading techniques currently used in local school districts. LAPS teams who will be participating in CAPERS first have their pet assessed for appropriateness and safety with children, then attend specialized training sessions with their pets, followed by practice sessions under the guidance of a teacher and a LAPS trainer.
- Solano County Public Libraries
- Napa Unified School District (selected school sites)