Denver Pet Partners (DPP) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing the Human-Animal Bond in order to improve the quality of life, benefit human-animal interaction and enhance animal-assisted interaction (AAI) services in Colorado.
Founded in 2001, we are inclusive of AAI volunteers, professionals and associated organizations. DPP has over 170 current members who embrace the DPP Mission "To deliver excellence in animal-assisted interventions (AAI) and enhance the health and wellness of people through AAI services, networking, and education."
Founded in 2001 by Diana McQuarrie, Denver Pet Partners, a successful non-profit animal-assisted therapy organization, joined forces briefly with then Denver-based American Humane Association in 2007 to enable more people to experience the healing power of the human-animal bond. Integrating mutual missions, American Humane was able to expand and enhance their national leadership in promoting the positive impact of the human-animal bond through adding direct services in animal-assisted therapy. With the backing of a national organization, Denver Pet Partners was empowered to expand its educational offerings and community outreach, develop new programs, grow their volunteer and client base and establish valuable collaborations instrumental to furthering the field. Together for 4 years, from 2007 - 2011, American Humane and Denver Pet Partners significantly increased the knowledge base about the value of the human-animal bond and the effectiveness of incorporating animals into the therapeutic process to enhance healing and learning on a local, national and even international level. In 2011, American Humane relocated, moving their headquarters to Washington, D.C. and discontinued their local animal-assisted therapy program. Undeterred, Denver Pet Partners re-established itself as a non-profit corporation that same year, and without interruption to the clients and volunteers they were dedicated to, continued to serve the metro Denver and surrounding area.
Since 2002, Denver Pet Partners has been a community partner of Pet Partners, a 40 year-old national organization dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond. Combining extensive experience, comprehensive capabilities across many client types, and adherence to rigorous standards of practice, Denver Pet Partners collaborates with people and organizations to help them conduct safe, effective animal-assisted interaction. With over 150 handler-animal teams serving over 50 facilities in the Denver-metro area, approximately 40,000 lives per year are impacted by the healing touch of the human-animal bond.
The way we serve the community builds on our expertise in teaching, knowledge of the human-animal bond and extensive ongoing experience in the field to help people be confident and effective volunteer therapy animal handlers with their pet and help clients have safe, productive and sustainable therapy programs which increase value for their customers. Through collaboration with international, national and local organizations and academia, we remain on the cutting edge of the latest research and take an active part in developing solutions to improve the value of animal-assisted therapy and ensure the utmost safety for all involved, especially the animal.
We work with a diverse group of socioeconomic, situational, generational, and racial backgrounds. Besides traditional settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, group homes, mental health centers and schools, our service to the community extends to include a homeless shelter, a state psychiatric center, and a juvenile correctional facility, making inroads into non-traditional settings for animal-assisted therapy. Our commitment to service excellence and client satisfaction strengthens and extends our relationships in the community. For example, we continue to have successful programs with clients we started with over 15 years ago.
Among the many strengths that distinguish Denver Pet Partners in the marketplace is our:
• Extensive experience
• Complete service offerings
• Expertise in implementing sustainable programs
• History of dedicated service excellence
• Commitment to the long-term development of our volunteers and clients
• Proven and experienced leadership team
Our Core Values shape the culture and define the character of our organization, guiding how we behave and make decisions.
Integrity: We insist upon ethical behavior in all things, inspiring trust by saying and doing what we mean, and taking responsibility for our actions.
Teamwork: We achieve together what none of us could do alone.
Respect for the Individual: We nurture and promote broad and diverse membership engagement, and we listen to, support, and genuinely care about one another through establishment of a mutually-supportive environment.
Service Excellence: We will be responsive and relevant to one another by continually investing in our members and by nurturing long-term value-driven relationships with all those with which we affiliate, partner and collaborate.
As an Affiliate Member of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), Denver Pet Partners abides by the resolutions adopted by the members of IAHAIO relating to guidelines for animal-assisted intervention and guidelines for wellness of animals involved. Our courses and training are based on these guidelines as well as standards of practice and the Code of Ethics for animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy.
Quotes from Students about the Training:
"The ... program is thorough and comprehensive in scope and subject matter. Training is conducted in a professional manner with an emphasis on adherence to program protocol and job site policies and procedures. Training materials are extensive and incorporate role playing, videos, live demonstrations and text."
"It was absolutely the best way to begin doing this sort of volunteering."
"Incredibly professional and well-organized!"
Quotes from Clients:
"I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism and dedication of DPP members that we work with. We feel very lucky to be a part of this organization!!" Admissions Director, Denver Children's Home
" We are so appreciative of the time and energy the volunteers spend in assisting our program. Our pet partners have been especially professional and sensitive to our client's needs." Director, Easter Seals Stroke Program
"As you know, our DPP team won the volunteer of the year award for our nation wide running. We value each & every one of them so much. " Director Recreation Therapy, Life Care Center of Littleton
"Denver Pet Partners has been a huge supporter of the Paws to Read program at Bemis Public Library. 'Paws' behan in Bemis in 2004 to partner reluctant readers with therapy pets in order to provide a non-critical and non-judgmental audience which allows children to overcome their fear of reading aloud. We are so grateful to the dedicated teams who volunteer their time and efforts month after month to instill confidence and foster a love of reading in the children of our community." Val Fetters - Children's Division Supervisor
"Diana McQuarrie, her staff and volunteers are to be commended on the excellent job they do. From the day we interviewed them through the training, in-service and implementation of the program, they were professional, helpful and friendly. They are a joy to work with!" Kathie Young, Director of Volunteer Services, Platte Valley Medical Center
"....our students response was amazing. Many of our students come from lower socio-economic backgrounds and they live in apartments or trailers. Many do not have pets of any kind and for some, this was the first time they had been close enough to an animal to make a connection and learn how comforting they can be. Our students talked about the program long after the assembly and I truly believe they gained a new level of appreciation and many took a new step to the human-animal connection that Denver Pet Partners promote." Ivan Duran, Principal, Sable Elementary School
"The contributions you made to our 4-H Adventures program at North and West Middle Schools in Aurora were phenomenal. Some children came into class fearful and concerned about being near a dog. One girl in particular just blossomed....the encouragement she received and the empowerment to overcome her fear have made a tremendous difference in her involvement in our program. The mission of your organization is so important to our community. Thank you for your leadership in making our recent programs possible." Lisa K. Taylor, Youth Development and Enrichment Coordinator, Arapahoe County Cooperative Extension
Quotes from Volunteers:
"When one thinks about volunteering, it can often be a difficult choice to make as to where best to devote time and energy. This is especially so because there are many, many great institutions and causes, which really need help from the community. The big question a person often asks of herself/himself is, "Can I make a difference?" The answer is a resounding "YES" if you volunteer through or support Denver Pet Partners (DPP)! As a volunteer for 5 years, my pet partner and I have seen the magic of a furry friend. Supporting Physical Therapists with one-on-one activities that assist individuals to heal physically and emotionally from surgeries and other life altering events, we know and see the tangible difference each visit makes. Our clients count on us to help them achieve their goals with the individuals they hope to aid. Whether success is measured by way of a smile, a positive emotion, or a task/physical goal achieved, it is impossible to miss that the presence of a pet partner played a key role in the event. DPP is committed to excellence and demonstrates this through comprehensive traininig, ongoing support of its teams, and service excellence to its clients and partners!" Susan Horecki
"It has been my great pleasure to volunteer with Denver Pet Partners for 8 years. With my canine pet therapy partners, Kenzie and Toby, I've had many memorable experiences visiting at Swedish Medical Center. Kenzie was known for her patient work in the rehabilitation unit where she would help stroke victims regain strength and coordination. Therapists would often tell of how her presence encouraged patients to work harder and more joyfully. Toby visits with me now sharing his own special kind of tail-wagging joy. He and I are also involved in a Read to the Dog program at the Anythink Library. The children are so encouraged when they have a friendly furry buddy to read to. I've also been active as a Trained Evaluator for DPP. In all my experiences with DPP I have encountered wonderful, supportive people. I hope to be involved in this rewarding work for many more years." Linda Forsyth
Quotes from Experts in the Field:
"I am an Advisory Council member for Denver Pet Partners, but also had the the joy of working closely with Diana McQuarrie in developing the "Therapy Animals Supporting Kids" (TASK) Program and Manual setting forth guidelines on therapy animals working with children going through the court process. Denver Pet Partners and its leadership are truly at the top of this field and are providing a high-quality safe service. It is a wonderful organization and I am honored to be part of it." Allie Phillips, J.D., National District Attorney's Association
"The services that Denver Pet Partners provide are valuable to students throughout our building. We consider the Pet Partners as an integral part of our programming. We are very appreciative of all that they do for our students." School Psychologist, Fletcher Miller Special School
"I could not have asked for more dedicated volunteers. They have all been great and definitely set the bar high for others." Counselor, Mount View Youth Services Center