We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
~ George Eliot
|Wonderful Animals Giving Support (WAGS) is a not-for-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to bringing people and pets together for companionship and therapy. Founded in 1999 by Linda Laun, WAGS members and their registered Ambassadors have volunteered thousands of hours visiting hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other facilities throughout the region in an effort to promote and share the special, and often healing bond between humans and animals. Our growing membership currently boasts over 150 active members & 88 Ambassador Teams. WAGS welcomes pets of different sizes, breeds, and ages! And even though many of our members partner with an Ambassador companion of the canine persuasion, we are blessed with cat, rabbit & guinea pig Ambassador Teams as well. Through community outreach events such as Bark In the Park & Waggin Trail 5K, WAGS volunteers continually share the positive impact of pet therapy. From providing a child encouragement & confidence while learning to read, to mental stimulation and rehabilitation motivation for senior citizens & hospital patients, our Ambassador teams have touched the lives of so many during their visits over the years.
The primary objective set forth by WAGS has always been to provide the information and screening required for our members who want to become a pet therapy Ambassador team. WAGS teams are required to pass a health screening, as well as obedience, skills and aptitude tests. As such, the teams are insured against liability while visiting. Teams must participate in ongoing training programs, continuing education and are evaluated regularly. Our teams provide Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) for a wide variety of individuals and groups, ages ranging from young children through older adults.
Through the monthly membership meetings, members have opportunities to socialize their pets, share their own experiences of facility visits and experience continued education on pet related topics. Individuals interested in joining WAGS are always welcome to come and join a WAGS membership meeting as well as an orientation for new members where they will meet other members, learn about our visiting teams, the various activities and events we are involved in, and overall how WAGS operates. For individuals interested in becoming a visiting Ambassador team, the WAGS 101 orientation meeting provides all the information needed to become registered. But as importantly, to be a member of WAGS you do not have to visit with your pet or become a WAGS Ambassador. You simply enjoy animal companionship and believe that our daily lives are enriched by their presence and interaction.