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, certified therapy teams.  Each team is made up of one handler with one animal.  LAPS operates in Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties of Northern California.  Our goal is to enrich the lives of our clients and improve their overall well-being.

Fall 2022 Update

Loving Animals Providing Smiles (LAPS) has been celebrating our 20th Anniversary in intimate and meaningful ways.  A highlight was participating in the Crush Challenge, hosted by the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation and ZD Wines. Through the kindness of LAPS alumni Laura Dohrmann, our group was part of this special event which benefited the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Teen Center at Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley.

LAPS has continued to visit retirement facilities and college campuses in Napa and Solano Counties.  We are now returning to libraries, elementary schools and expanding services to teens.  LAPS has a list of locations requesting services, and we are motivated by the passion of our newest members to fill as many requests as possible.

Our sister organization, Mini Hooves Providing Smiles (MHPS), has been visiting a variety of locations in the Penn Valley area.  The MHPS teams are enjoying their time with older adults and young children, plus meeting the public at community events.  They are holding outings and practice sessions with their current therapy teams to polish skills and expose the minis to different experiences in preparation of visiting new facilities.

We are committed to building a strong foundation, ensuring each therapy team has a successful career.  Current therapy teams attended advanced skills / trick sessions to help expand their interactions with clients and staff.  In addition, the LAPS 6-week class started in mid-September and is filled with new handlers and dogs bringing welcomed enthusiasm.  MHPS training sessions includes our first miniature donkey, something we have been looking forward to.  Adding many of these teams in the upcoming months will make our organization stronger and more creative than ever.

The Therapy Teams of Loving Animals Providing Smiles and Mini Hooves Providing Smiles are focused on the future.  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!