Pet Therapy


Paw 4 Therapy LogoPet Therapy has been shown to improve the quality of a person's life in a variety of ways, both physically and mentally.  Due to these benefits, the Peoria Humane Society has implemented the PAWS 4 Therapy and PAWS to Read programs. You can learn more about each of PHS's pet therapy programs below.


Pet Therapy Benefits:

  • Research has shown that the physical well-being of people improves when pet therapy is available.  Simply petting an animal has been shown to lower a person’s blood pressure and reduce heart rate.
  • The handler/animal teams provide positive interactions that bring joy to all involved.
  • It educates those inexperienced with animals on the value of human/animal contact.
  • It deepens the bond between a handler and their dog by providing an activity that they can participate in together.
  • It fulfills a working dog's need to have a job to do.


What Makes a Good Therapy Dog?

(taken from Alliance of Therapy Dogs brochure)


We look for well-mannered, well-behaved dogs that enjoy meeting people. ATD doesn't require formal training, certifications, or tests other than our own. ATD is open to register any breed of dog except wolf or coyote mixes. Dogs must be one year of age, have a calm and gentle disposition, and be attentive to their handler. Participating dogs are evaluated and approved through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs guidelines. For more information visit Alliance of Therapy Dog's website at



PAWS 4 Therapy

Children reading a book.PAWS 4 Therapy is a pet therapy program that the Peoria Humane Society provides for the Peoria area.  The PAWS 4 Therapy program provides support for the disabled, elderly, and young through regular visits to area hospitals, long-term health care facilities, schools, and residential facilities. Participating dogs are evaluated and required to be registered therapy dogs prior to visiting area locations. The Peoria Humane Society understands the value of the human/animal bond and remains committed to sharing our therapy dogs with those in need.  


Become Part of the Team!

The PHS's pet therapy program strives to bring encouragement and joy to people in need and we can't do that without our volunteers!


Peoria Humane Society is currently looking for daytime volunteers to meet the needs of the community. Call or email program coordinator Kitty Yanko at 309-672-2447 or [email protected].




Girl reading a book. Another girl reading a book.