CASPCA Pet Therapy Teams

Pawsitive Pet Therapy

Meet our visiting teams! The CASPCA has some amazing pet therapy teams who participated in over 200 pet therapy visits in 2015. The teams visit a variety of places, including nursing homes, schools and libraries. Each team is skilled and unique, and we’re lucky to have them!

Meet Sabrina & Chloe


Chloe is a 4-year old beagle/coonhound mix. Together, Sabrina and Chloe have been a registered therapy team under TDInc. for about a year. Sabrina says their favorite part about therapy work is “Connecting with people on a profound level- old and young alike- where the love of an animal can open them up in a way nothing else can. Chloe overflows with love. It’s a gift for us to share it and truly the greatest joy to witness it. I delight in learning about the lives of seniors and have a blast reading to children. Chloe can’t wait for her next visit!”

Chloe’s favorite thing to do? Chloe ” hugs” people on command – and more often, voluntarily. Her hug is a deep curving lean. She also loves working for her treats (ask about her tricks!). Chloe and Sabrina’s favorite thing to show people is how they pray before she eats, and she only eats on “amen”!

Meet Lucy & Ellen

ellen&lucy_webLucy is a 5-year old black lab mix. Very fittingly, this love-bugs birthday is on Valentine’s day! Lucy and Ellen have been a registered therapy dog team for about a year through TDInc. Lucy came from the Richmond area via great volunteers of the Greater Richmond Lab Rescue, who helped Lucy get healthy and find a happy home after being a stray. As a team, Lucy and Ellen specialize in helping kids enjoy and succeed at reading. Lucy is a very active dog; her calm nature during reading sessions with kids is one side of her work hard, play hard personality.

Lucy’s a friendly, affectionate girl who loves people, cats, and dogs. But her absolute favorite thing? Lucy loves to play tennis ball. She retrieves most of the time, but also enjoys “keep-away”. She’s also quiet  adventurous – she enjoys hiking, playing outside, swimming and kayaking. She really likes hanging out with kids and sometimes napping. This smart girl also knows a wide variety of tricks, and is always working with Ellen to learn! Her favorite treats? Apple slices, dog biscuits, and cat food!

Meet Anne & Daisy

Daisy&Anne-webDaisy is a 2-year old yellow lab; if she were a person, she would be a teenager! Her birthday is on June 21st, and this summer baby is warm and affectionate, and is always eager and excited to meet new people. As a team, Anne and Daisy have been registered with Pet Partners for about a year, and have enjoyed visiting a variety of places including nursing homes, libraries, and a pre-school class.

Daisy got her name because she is both yellow like a daisy and as sweet as a daisy. She loves to swim, snuggle, ride in the car, chase tennis balls, and eat! She has a best friend named Enzo. She can hardly wait to be your friend, too.

Meet Ed & Bentley

bentley2-webBentley is a handsome 5-year old Yorkshire Terrier. Together Ed and Bentley have been a registered therapy dog team with Pet Partners for four years. Bentley is a friend to all he meets and loves visiting everyone, but he particularly loves reading with children. He loves a good book and will sit and listen attentively while read to – just don’t read him any Clifford books! He’s read them all and is ready to hear about new literary adventures.

Bentley and Ed’s favorite part of therapy work? “We enjoy seeing people cheer up when they get to pet Bentley and seeing them smile and tell us about their memories of when they owned a dog. Also, we like to see the smiles on children when they are reading stories to him.” Bentley’s favorite things to do include going for rides in the car, and playing with all of his dog toys. He also likes to play catch with his ball, and munch on his favorite treats: waffles, ice cream, and Cesar Softies dog treats.

Meet Felicia & Pia

felicia&pia-webPia is a 3-year old german shepherd/hound mix. Felicia and Pia were destined to become a team, when they met through the Pen Pals program at the prison where Felicia worked. Pen Pals is an exceptional program in Virginia prisons that utilizes inmate dog handlers to train local rescue dogs in preparation for community adoption. Felicia and Pia have been a registered therapy team with TDInc. for almost a year. Felicia’s favorite quality about Pia is that she brings joy to not only her owner, but to everyone she meets. Pia has a very fun-loving nature, and is especially fond of children. She lights up those around her with her infectious smile and affectionate nature. Some of Pia’s favorite activities are hugging people, running, and is most notably known for her Olympic jumping ability! Felicia and Pia especially enjoy volunteering with the Read to the Paw library program and with nursing home residents.

Meet Judy, Laci, & Gabriel

Judy&Collies-webWhat’s better than one therapy dog? Two therapy dogs! Laci and Gabriel, both rough collies, have been registered therapy dogs with Love on a Leash since 2013.

Laci is a five and a half year old Southern belle from Kentucky. This sweet girl is quiet the traveler and has been to 27 states and Canada! When she’s not on therapy visits, Laci helps her mom and the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas do home visits for potential adopters – she takes her responsibility very seriously and does a thorough check of every house! Only once she’s scoped everything out is she ready for some attention. This quiet, sensitive lady works with children of all ages and seniors, and even has an Advanced Therapy Certification to work with autistic children.

Gabriel is so sweet and angelic that his rescue named him after Gabriel the angel. Like his sister Laci, Gabriel loves to travel – to date he’s been to 8 states! Gabriel also accompanies his sister on home visits for potential adopters – his job? To check out the petting! It’s an important job making sure that an adopter knows how to correctly pet a dog, and Gabriel is just the man to do it! He’s enthusiastic and open, loves to flip your elbow with his head to get attention, and loves everyone he meets. Gabriel also has an Advanced Therapy Certification to work with autistic children.

Meet Marty & Bailey


This sweet Springer Spaniel is a CASPCA alum! Mom Marty adopted Bailey in 2008. Marty and Bailey recently registered with Pet Partners in December of 2014, and are eager to start working with children in schools and at libraries.

Immediately upon arriving at his new home, Bailey laid claim to a wing chair that has been in Marty’s family for over half a century – perhaps by coincidence or instinct, this same chair has been the favorite resting place for two other Springer’s who were loved by Marty’s family. Bailey loves people, riding in cars, and going for walks. Other favorite activities include laying on the back deck and watching the world go by, chasing a squirrel, or snoozing in the sun. His weakness? Squeaky toys and potato chips! Don’t open a bag of chips within hearing distance of Bailey – he knows the sound!

Meet Nancy & Dancer

Dancer-Miner-1-small-webDancer is a dashing 5-year-old Rottweiler who was rescued from West Virginia. Dancer and his mom Nancy are registered with TDInc. Dancer is by nature very gregarious, a personality type referred to as “social Rottie.” He also is a cookie monster and loves going on visits. Nancy has a long history of compassion and caring towards both people and animals – she  has degrees in both Psychology and Health Care Sciences (Board Certified Physician Assistant). For more than 20 years, she has volunteered as a CPR and First Aid instructor for the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. Nancy also trains dogs and taught obedience classes. For the past 20 years, she has been active in dog and cat rescue and is one of the founders of the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival.

As a Registered Therapy Dog Team, Dancer and Nancy help children with their reading at local schools and libraries; make weekly visits to hospitals, residential, and outpatient facilities; participate in Therapy Dog fundraisers; and table at special events. In 2014 they visited the University of Richmond School of Law during exam week. Dancer is a big teddy bear and loves leaning into you and give hugs!

Meet Mary & Ruth


Ruth is a super sweet 4 1/2-year old Australian Shepherd mix. Ruth and her mom Mary recently passed their Pet Partners therapy evaluation in March of 2015, and we’re oh so excited to have them join us! They’re both friendly and sweet, and ready to jump into therapy work.

Ruth has quiet the personality, and knows some silly tricks: she can moo and whisper! She loves to learn new things, and show off what a smart cookie she is.

Meet Chelsea & Duke


Duke is a sweet 7 year old Chihuahua/Dachshund mix who loves to be loved! Duke and Chelsea recently passed their Pet Partners evaluation in March of 2015, and have already been on visits (and they’re quite popular!).

Duke loves therapy visits because it is a chance for him to touch people’s hearts. He has a special way of wagging his little body, to coming and sitting on a persons lap, which is like no other dog I have met. His heart is full of love and compassion towards others, which helps him bond with people. I love to see how happy he can make a person, while in the process I learn more about children’s lives and enriching their knowledge on animal care. We both look forward to visiting a nursing home.

His favorite things to do are playing with his 5 other dog friends, going for car rides, frog hunting, and digging huge holes in the backyard. He loves to lay in puddles of sunshine soaking up the rays, cuddling with anyone he meets, and fetching tennis balls (he could play all day)!

Meet Juila & Halsey


Halsey is a big teddy bear of a guy! This five-year-old Newfoundland and his mom Julia recently completed their TDInc. registration. Halsey’s fluffy coat and gentle demeanor quickly attract people of all ages to him – how can you not want to sink your fingers in his fur and give him a huge hug? Julia is no stranger to schools and spent many hours volunteering in her sons’ classrooms when they were growing up. Julia and Halsey enjoy reading with students – Halsey is certainly the perfect dog to grab a good book and curl up with!

Halsey likes to swim, fetch sticks, go for rides in the car, loves treats of all kinds– especially rawhides. Sleeping is also top on his list.

Meet Polly and Jessie

Polly and Jessie Blenheim Vineyards

Jessie is a sweet 5-year-old female black lab. Polly and Jessie have been registered with Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly TDInc) since April 2015. Together they enjoy volunteering for Community Attention Foster Families, where they meet with teenagers who love dogs but are not able to keep pets in their group home.  It is such rewarding work, especially when these kids reminisce about their own pets from their previous family lives.  It gives them something positive to focus on from their past.

Jessie loves everyone, especially kids.  Besides giving kisses and doing tricks, she loves to retrieve.  You can throw anything for her, a ball, a stick … even a tiny piece of mulch and she’ll play with you for hours.

Meet Zane and Remy


Remy is a 2-year-old black standard poodle. I selected him out of a litter of 13 for therapy dog and agility work. We were certified as a therapy team by Pet Partners in December 2014. We have been visiting nursing homes, memory units and schools since January 2015. I never cease to be amazed at the reactions we receive when visiting, whether it be from a 6 year old first grader or an advanced dementia patient-truly magical! Remy loves nothing better than an off-lead romp in the woods or an indoors romp with my 7-year-old granddaughter.


Meet Rae and Mallory

unnamedMeet Mallory, a 3-year-old British Golden Retriever, and Rae Skinner, his team mate. Mallory was born in Canada, but now loves the rolling green hills of Virginia. He thinks the grass here is delightful — he nibbles it, scratches his back in it, gallops across it! Very early on Mallory established that he is a very gentle sweetheart, so Rae teamed up with him to become a certified therapy team in April 2015. Since then the team has enjoyed volunteering at the library program,“Read to the Paws.” It’s fun to see the children excited about reading.

Recently, Mallory and Rae started volunteering at UVA Hospital, visiting children, their families, and people in the lobby. They find it rewarding to help worried people smile, as they pat soft, furry Mallory and chat with Rae.

Meet Joan and Buzzy Bee 

Buzzy and JoanI adopted Buzzy two years ago because she was a loving, gentle English Lab who wanted to be a beloved pet!  She is my cherished pet and we have gone through Therapy Dog training together (she was a natural, I was not) so we could work as a team with children and adults.  We have begun our work this fall, with both populations. Buzzy is wonderful – loving and happy to meet people, listen to children and even do an occasional trick (actually only one) to entertain!  I am lucky to have her and grateful to be part of the CASPCA program.

Meet Alice-Leigh and Maggie


Maggie LOVES people! A rescue from the Louisa County pound in 2009, Maggie’s a classic “Heinz 57” with likely a strong dose of lab and hound. She’s never met a person she didn’t adore and she’s an expert at giving body hugs, leaning deeply into her person. Others frequently comment on her expressive face and manner and her ‘joie de vie’ tends to be infectious. Maggie and Alice-Leigh became registered with Alliance for Therapy Dogs in January 2015. Maggie has enjoyed visits to nursing homes, libraries, schools, and more. (She loves to be surrounded by a group of adoring children.) She especially enjoys less structured settings where she can be actively engaged with her people. Maggie is eager to continue learning about the exciting world of therapy dogs.

Meet Stefanie and Avaava

We adopted Ava from the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA a couple years ago when she was two years old. We know nothing about her previous home but she was definitely used to the finer things in life, especially comfy couches. Ava’s needs are simple:  lounging , taking in  an episode of Downton Abbey and having somebody to pet her.  Ava is always ready to meet somebody new and enjoys making new friends on therapy visits.