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Celebration of Animal Therapy Programs in Ottawa

May 18, 2016, Ottawa


Dogs have been our best friends for thousands of years, but we have only recently begun to understand how strong our connection to our four-legged friends really is. Our latest Measuredoutcome.org report, which was launched in Ottawa on May 18, 2016, explores how three Ottawa-based programs help people at risk by fostering our bond with animals.

“Many animal lovers will tell you that their pet is their best friend,” said Rebecca Thomas, Measuredoutcome.org. “What we wanted to know was how animals are helping people overcome mental and physical health issues in ways that human relationships can’t.”

Operation Come Home, a Measuredoutcome.org partner agency, hosted the event, which featured speakers from the three agencies featured in the report.

Leaders and participants from Community Veterinary Outreach, Ottawa Humane Society, Ottawa Therapy Dogs, and Operation Come Home programs all came together to meet and share stories, ideas, and make connections with sector leaders.

Special thanks to the fantastic speakers at the event, including;


Andrea Tatarski and Kristen Brooker, who work with the Ottawa Humane Society LEAD program. The program helps at-risk adolescents and shelter dogs learn new ways to communicate and interact. Andrea and Kristen both spoke to the powerful effect that the program has on both shelter dogs and the high–risk youth who participate in the program.


Ottawa Therapy Dogs had three canine therapy teams at the event, who were all wonderful ambassadors for the program. Margot Montgomery, chair of the OTD Fundraising and Community Outreach Committee, spoke to the impact that the teams have on the children and adults who they come into contact with in their programs.


We were also honoured to welcome Chris, a client of Community Veterinary Outreach and of Operation Come Home. Chris gave us a moving and memorable insight into how his relationship with Thor has kept him going through the toughest times, and how important the programs that support the unique bond of humans and animals has been to him.

Chris and Thor, clients of Community Veterinary Outreach and Operation Come Home“If I give up, I give up on him, and I won’t do that.”

We are grateful to all of the agencies for their collaboration and work with us on this report. We also thank Operation Come Home for providing a dog-friendly, inclusive space so that we could welcome all of our program participants to the launch celebration.


You can download a copy of the report on this website here: More Than A Best Friend

For further information on this report, or on the work of Measuredoutcome.org, please contact: Rebecca Thomas at  rthomas@measuredoutcome.org





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