Pixabay, Golden Retriever

Pet Partners will be celebrating National Therapy Animal Day by hosting a Facebook Live event with therapy animal teams on April 30. The idea behind the event is so communities around the country can experience the incredible benefits of the human-animal bond, officials said in a statement.

National Therapy Animal Day was created to recognize all of the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need, according to officials.

“Therapy animals and their human handlers help people of all ages experience the incredible benefits of the human-animal bond,” said C. Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners, a Bellevue, Wash.-based organization that registers therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions. “It is an honor to recognize our hardworking teams today, and every day, who bring these healing benefits to their communities and improve lives through the power of animals.”

Pet Partners officials are also encouraging people to show their support of therapy animals on social media by using #NationalTherapyAnimalDay and tagging Pet Partners. Registered therapy animal teams are encouraged to share photos of therapy animals on visits, whether in-person or virtual.

While a majority of Pet Partners therapy animals are dogs, its Therapy Animal Program is open to cats, equines, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, birds, pigs and even llamas and alpacas, according to officials.

“There are characteristics that help identify potential therapy animals, which include a calm and friendly temperament, confidence and the ability to follow basic commands,” officials said. “Animals should also enjoy receiving attention, being touched and meeting new people.”

Pet Partners has a quiz on its website to determine if an animal might be suitable for therapy animal work.

Visit @petsforhealth on Facebook to register for the Facebook Live event.

For more of PPN's coverage on therapy animals, read: