Meet Our Animals

What Is Animal-Assisted Therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy incorporates hands on and sensory approaches in tandem with traditional therapeutic practices. It can include simply interacting with a reassuring animal, animal care as an intervention, training and animal-specific exercises, observation and metaphor, and more.

Why Animal-Assisted Therapy?

Animal assisted therapy has been shown to lower stress during sessions, increase positive attitudes toward and experiences of therapy,  enhance learning and positive self-regard, and provides a safe and reassuring bond with both the animal and therapist.

Many individuals struggle with traditional methods of talk and process-based therapy. For these individuals, animal-assisted therapy provides a safe, enjoyable, and research-based alternative.

Utah animal therapy

Canine Companions For Independence

Canine Companions for Independence was founded in 1975. It is a non-profit organization that provides animal assistance to those with disabilities.  The animals they breed, raise, and train aren’t just a tool to their human partners. They’re also companions, goodwill ambassadors, and often their best friends. Canine Companions’ highly specialized dogs open up new opportunities, possibilities, and spread incredible joy. 

We are so grateful to Canine Companions for donating two amazing Facility Dogs to our nonprofit. Flower and Galaxy are instrumental in the work of Animals 4 Healing, as well as touchstones in the lives of our clients. 

Facility Dogs

Facility dogs are highly skilled and trained dogs which partner with a facilitator in a health care (or similar) setting. Canine Companions has trained both of Animals 4 Healing’s facility dogs, Galaxy and Flower. Due to their rigorous training, these specialized canines are trustworthy, gentle, loving, and able to help motivate and inspire clients in therapy.

Flower IV - Labrador/Golden Retriever

Flower is Animal’s 4 Healing’s first facility dog donated by Canine Companions. She is famous for cuddling, kindness, her calm demeanor, happy nature, and ability to provide companionship and aid. She loves dress-up and playing fetch. 

Flower has 4 1/2 years of experience as a service dog. In those years, she has helped hundreds of clients reach their treatment goals. She has extensive experience working with clients dealing with anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Flower is trained in over 40 commands to help our clients engage and focus in therapy without increasing stress. She loves her work, dressing up, fetch, learning new things, and is always excited to meet new friends. 

Utah therapy dog

Galaxy VII - Labrador/Golden Retriever

Galaxy was donated to Animals 4 Healing by Canine Companions in 2021. She’s focused, gentle, friendly, and loves praise and affection. She love being near people, whether on their lap or cuddling at their feet. She also loves exploring and nice long walks. 

Galaxy is intuitive and easy to interact with. She’s excellent at helping children, adolescents, and adults feel comfortable in therapy. 

Galaxy is trained knows over 40 commands, just like her best friend Flower. She loves to spend time with humans, and enjoys playing chase with Flower when not at work. 

utah animal therapy

Henry - Purebred Havanese

Henry is owned by one of the therapists at our clinic, Kimberlie (Kimi) Simms, LCSW.  He has been a certified therapy dog sinc Spring of 2020 and loves coming to work at 4 Healing Center. 

Henry’s nicknames are Henry Bug, Bug, and Buggy. His favorite part of coming to work is greeting our clients and leading them around the clinic. He loves wearing dress up, and socializing with our staff. 

Henry is known for his sixth sense for reading people’s emotions. When at home,  he loves treats, chewing on bones, and hanging out with his greyhound brother.

Utah therapy dog

Steve - Quarter Horse Gelding

Steve was donated to Animals 4 Healing in 2021. He is 15 hands (roughly 5 feet tall at the withers) and 21 years old.

Before joining our Animals 4 Healing family, Steve was a children’s lesson horse. He is patient, forgiving, and gentle. He’s the perfect horse for those new to equine therapy and horses in general. 

Due to his age, Steve primarily offers groundwork and interactive therapy to our clients. 

Equine Therapy Utah

Confettis Freedom Warrior (Freedom) -Appaloosa /Friesian Mare

Freedom is owned by one of our therapists, Mary Coombs, LCSW. She’s six years old and 15. 3 hands (roughly 5.3 feet tall at the withers.) Mary has owned Freedom for 5 of her six years of Freedom’s life, since Freedom was a yearling. 

Freedom is a working Western Horse, which is a good fit for her pace and personality. As a young horse, she is an excellent teacher of many emotional and life skills such as: problem-solving, emotional and physical boundaries, leadership, effective and communication, development of a growth mentality, and much more.

At this time Freedom is available for groundwork and interactive therapy. We expect to offer therapeutic riding on Freedom very soon.  

Therapy horse