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April 30 was National Therapy Animal Day: a day to celebrate the companion animals in our lives that volunteer in our community and help make Flagstaff a wonderful place to live. Therapy animals and their handlers visit in hospitals, assisted living, NAU, CCC and many of our local high schools. They lower blood pressure, improve mood, and help struggling readers gain proficiency. Therapy animals positively impact the lives of many people and are an asset to our community.

I am fortunate to volunteer with Fanta Cain and also to work with her at Victim Witness. It is deeply gratifying volunteer work that we enjoy doing together. We are registered with Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization registering volunteer handlers and their companion animals as therapy animal teams: www.petpartners.org. Pet Partners teams meet the highest standards for client safety and animal welfare.

Please take a moment to thank a therapy animal, and consider whether you and your pet would enjoy this volunteer activity. On their website at www.petpartners.org, Pet Partners offers a quiz to determine if your animal might be suitable to be a therapy animal. We want all therapy animals to enjoy their “job” as much as we do.

HOLLIE VARGAS & FANTA CAIN

Sexual Violence Victim Advocate and K-9 victim advocate

Victim Witness Services for Coconino County

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