German Shepherd Mingo, Therapy Dog Jasper, Founder Laura
Thank you for taking the time to get to know more about us!
MEET OUR FOUNDER
Laura Hey, Founder of Health Heelers, is considered an expert in the field of Animal-Assisted Interventions. Laura began her professional career as an occupational therapist, primarily specializing in neurological and cognitive rehab and also assisting individuals with special needs in emotional and social development. Laura obtained a degree in Animal-Assisted Therapy through a DePaul University partnership in 2001. Blending her health care and animal-assisted therapy degrees she began the first program of its kind in the area, teaching therapists how to most effectively incorporate therapy dogs into patient treatment sessions. The results were profound!
Ultimately Laura went on to create Health Heelers in 2005 in order to serve a broader community. She designs and directs programs to aid groups and individuals in the development of or growth in: physical, cognitive, emotional, social and self care skills.
Laura appreciates the blessings of a life surrounded by truly special creatures including her Border Collie, Jasper, a registered therapy dog, a German Shepherd named Mingo, three pampered house cats, and the dozens of great therapy animals and handlers who participate in Health Heelers programs!
ABOUT OUR TEAMS
About 50 therapy animal teams (a registered therapy animal and their volunteer handler) actively serve in our programs. Although most are dog and handler teams, we have a few very special cat and handler teams too. All Health Heelers teams are registered through Pet Partners, the leading national therapy animal organization. Health Heelers holds to Pet Partners' high, gold-star standards, and even builds upon them. Our therapy animal teams commit to their ongoing growth in skills and knowledge, well beyond the stringent therapy animal evaluation, through training, mentoring and workshop opportunities provided by our founder. Their commitment enables us to make a better, bigger impact. Health Heelers is grateful for the dedication of all Health Heelers teams! Truly, Health Heelers teams are the crème de la crème!