Operation Therapy - Mission Statement
Our charity, Operation Therapy, exists to pioneer scalable training techniques for therapy and service animals and also document these techniques and share them with others free of charge for the betterment of all animal training charities. We use these techniques to train PTSD service dogs and therapy horses with standardized training and testing which can be scaled to not only develop the largest single training program in America but also could be used to assist others in establishing their own standards.
Operation Therapy is committed to serving all veterans, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other potentially protected demographic factors. However, as the top 3 underlying pre-trauma risk factors for developing PTSD are Age (youth), Gender (female), and race (non-white), we are also committed to serving these groups in a proportionately representational manner.
We are a charity of experienced animal trainers at pet, therapy and service levels. Our goal is to provide therapy services for the entire community with safe, healthy and fully trained animals. In order to provide these services, it is essential to spend thousands of hours caring and training these animals. Our new PTSD Service Dog Training Program is pioneering training techniques without kennels in pursuit of our goal of 500 dogs trained per year for veterans.
Over the years we have realized the lack of information available for the proper care and training of service animals available. There is conflicting advice on the internet about both care and training. Much of it is harmful to the animals or ineffective forms of training. For this reason our foundation has to be constant evaluation of these various techniques and development of a set of “best practices” for care and training of therapy animals. There is an urgent need for this in the therapy miniature horse world where much of the advice on feeding and care is based on a scaled down version of large horse practices but prove to be dangerously unhealthy for miniature horse owners.
We also realize that raising service and therapy animals is extremely expensive. Improper feeding can lead to thousands of dollars in extra veterinary care annually while simultaneously shortening an animals lifespan. Animals expected to live outside in colder climates need special care if they are also expected to work inside where it is warm. There are hundreds of considerations to address and all mistakes are expensive, often in the thousands of dollars. For this reason we share all of our experience and results with anyone who wants learn. We do this at no cost.
Besides our in-house training we also work with other members of the local community to train their animals to become certified trainers. When training is complete we organize volunteer work for the animals and handlers to visit children, veterans and the elderly. We also work with local schools and extended education programs to teach proper care and training for therapy animals. We focus on mostly miniature horses and dogs for these programs. Some of the star students can become handlers for our animals and assist or even lead therapy visits.