To request a therapy dog team for your program Contact Compassionate Canines

Summit Healthcare: Comfort Canines for Cancer Patients

Summit Healthcare Cancer Center in Bend is requesting Therapy Dog Teams. Therapy Dog Teams are being welcomed by the staff and by the patients. New teams will be mentored.

Visiting days: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
Visiting hours: Between 10:00 am and 2 pm
Volunteer Coordinators:
Jennifer Horsman,
Donna Jarboe,
Contact Jennifer or Donna to volunteer with your team.

Cascade Middle School: Bridges Program

Request for teams from the Student Success Clinician Coordinator:

“I have been in touch with other BRYT program coordinators at middle schools in the district who have had a therapy dog team come in for an hour or two a couple times a week to support students. Most students in the program do not have any pets at home and I think this type of support would be very therapeutic for them. Students in the Bridges program could sign up for 10-15 minute increments.”

BRYT Program for Students in Transition – The Brookline Center

Requesting one therapy dog team every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:00.
Program Coordinator: Jennifer Horsman, Email:, Phone: 541-390-6151. Contact Jennifer to volunteer with your team. A Bend/La Pine Schools volunteer background check is required.

Miller Elementary School: Reading Program

Miller Elementary School K-5th grades has requested two therapy dog teams for the entire school year. Teams will visit once a week on a Tuesday or Thursday at 9:30 – 11:00 AM. Participating students will be chosen by their interest and their needs.

You might not always have the same student reading and interacting with you and your dog. Your team will spend about 15 minutes of “reading” with each student. Therapy dog teams will be interacting one-on-one with their students in a very large comfortable room called “The Den”.

If you are considering volunteering, a background check is required.
Event Coordinator: Jennifer Horsman, email:

Pacific Crest Middle School: Reading Program

Pacific Crest Middle School 5th-8th grades, ages 11-14 years, has requested two therapy dog teams for the entire school year. A team will visit on a Tuesday or Thursday at 1:30 – 3:00 PM. The students who participate will be based on their interest and needs. You might not always have the same student. Your team will spend 15 – 20 minutes of “reading” with each student. This activity will be located in a quiet and comfortable room called “The Trail”.

If you are considering volunteering, a background check is required.
Event Coordinator: Jennifer Horsman, email:

Partners In Care HosPet Program

The HosPet program at Partners In Care features nurturing registered therapy dogs and dedicated volunteers who bring pet therapy to our hospice patients at home, in local care facilities, and in our Hospice House.

These qualified hospice volunteers and their therapy pets create an opportunity for socialization and comforting interaction, often reducing anxiety, sometimes promoting physical movement, and usually opening lines of communication. Pet therapy positively impacts the lives of those who are ill, grieving or withdrawn. To learn more about our HosPet program visit our website at

To volunteer as a HosPet, the handler must first participate in a Partners in Care volunteer training. The dog must be certified with a nationally recognized therapy dog organization. After the training the Handler with their dog will have an interview with the Partners in Care volunteer coordinator. The new team will have a mentor. Partners in Care has a few HosPet rules and insurance which will be discussed during their interview. If your are interested in visiting hospice patients and transitional clients contact Shannon Campbell, Partners in Care Volunteer Coordinator at

Our next New Volunteer Orientation will be held in May 2023 from 8:30am-4:30pm, specific date TBD.  If you have a friend or family member you think might be a good fit for this important work, please encourage them to apply online. The volunteer department will respond with an invitation for a coffee date and a promise to share all the gifts that are Partners In Care.

Hospice of Redmond

I am the volunteer coordinator at Hospice of Redmond and we are looking to certify pet-therapy teams to support patients and families as they journey toward death.

Tania Crawford

Redmond Airport

With cancellations and delays continuing to plague airports around the country and the world, some new hires at the Redmond Municipal Airport are hoping to make a — pawsitive change. Watch the video of therapy dogs Lily the terrier, Gunner the poodle and Murphy the golden retriever making the rounds at Redmond Airport.

“Travel is stressful. It creates a lot of anxiety. Some people don’t like to fly,” said Airport Director Zach Bass. “Offering another option during that process that might relieve that anxiety is always helpful, so it’s been a great fit for us.”

“Great things in organizations are never done by one person. They’redone by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

The soulful look in Maggie’s eyes and the joy in the gentleman’s face is a priceless moment in time of what dogs do for humans. Thank you for all you and your dogs do for Alliance of Therapy Dogs!

President of ATD

Compassionate Canines Program Coordinator: Sue Dolezal, email:

Summer with the Library

Steve and Skye as listening partners with a tail

This summer the Deschutes County Library, other community organizations, and Compassionate Canines are teaming up to bring fun and learning to a neighborhood near you. Check out Library on the Go locations below to find out where we’ll be sharing free books, fun games, prizes, and more. Kids can read books with a therapy dog.

Our therapy dog volunteers are to provide everything they and their dog need to feel comfortable during the event. The Deschutes Pupublic Libraries’ idea is that therapy dog teams just stroll around, or sit, and allow pleasant interactions with the dog. 

If the Handler would like to set up to have children read to the dog, that’s lovely, but entirely optional. When kids and teens sign up for our Summer with the Library program they can choose, from our selection, a free book to keep. The sign reads: “Hi!  I’m a therapy dog! You’re welcome to pet me. Would you like to read to me?”

Aspen Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care

A Compassionate Canines program where a certified therapy dog team can schedule a weekly or bi-weekly visit to the residents of Aspen Ridge Memory Care located in Bend. Contact coordinator Jennifer Horsman to schedule your initial walk thru visit.

St. Charles Medical Centers at Bend and Redmond

We are looking for new and experienced therapy dog teams. Therapy animals can help our patients by improving mood and cognition, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and decreasing stress and depression. Volunteering at St. Charles and sharing your beloved dog with others is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities available. For new therapy dog handlers, Central Oregon Community College offers Pet Partner Team Training through its Community Learning Program.

To become a St. Charles dog therapy volunteer: 

  • Become a St. Charles volunteer
  • Have a current therapy dog registration through Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs International or Alliance of Therapy Dogs
  • Complete orientation and supervised visits with an authorized and experienced therapy dog team
  • Bathe dogs within 24 hours prior to each visit
  • Show that dogs are at least 2 years old and have a current rabies certificate

For more information, please contact St. Charles Volunteer Services at 541-706-2657.
St. Charles Therapy Dog Volunteer Opportunities
St. Charles Therapy Dogs Video

Elk Meadow Elementary School DOG TALES

The Very Best Listeners

Reading Partner Teams are assigned two kids with each having their own 30 minutes to be shared with you and your dog. Reading Partner Teams have the opportunity to become an important part of a 4th or 2nd grade kid’s life. Volunteering for the DOG TALES program is about making a connection and a difference with your dog by your side. Reading Partners with a Tail support young readers on a weekly basis for the entire school year. Compassionate Canines therapy dog teams have been volunteering at Elk Meadow Elementary School for 14 years!

Humans and pups,

Thank you all so much for working with our kiddos and being flexible, with not only your time, but your love. Sometimes a different kiddo heads out to see you and always they are greeted with special attention and warmth. That is your gift!! You may never see the results of your time, but I know, you are making a difference and will be a part of these kids’ memories forever.

Heather Korman, Elk Meadow Elementary

Silver Rail Elementary School Behavior Transition Program

Behavior Transition Program is a specialized education program for children K-3 at Silver Rail Elementary School in Bend that do not fit in to a regular classroom setting due to behavior constraints. Two Therapy Dog teams visit the classroom weekly and read one-on-one with the students. The teams are well versed in dealing with children who sometimes display no impulse control, have trouble dealing with anger and frustration, and are prone to outbursts and melt downs. The teachers and the students look forward to the teams visits, and the teachers feel that they are a godsend. Behaviors have improved, and the opportunity for the children to be gentle and appropriate around the therapy dogs has been a huge motivator for positive change.

Bend High Schools

Therapy animal teams are scheduled to visit Bend area high schools. The teams typically visit once per week. Depending upon the school, the teams visit study halls, classes and special events to provide stress relief, reduce anxiety and improve emotional mood.

Central Oregon Community College Pet-A-Pup Stress Relief Day

Our Compassionate Canines participate in Pet-A-Pup, one of the favorite events each quarter during Stress Relief Week for the students at COCC. One day during the week before finals the students can come by for a quick visit with our dogs, or spend the afternoon petting the dogs, relaxing, catching their breath and letting go of the tension of cramming for tests. Some students come back each quarter just to see the dogs.

OSU Cascades Pause-4-Paws Stress Relief Day

The OSU Office of Student Life sponsors Pause-4-Paws Stress Relief Day to help students relax before finals week. With finals approaching students can feel the stress growing. Students come to cuddle our therapy dogs to forget their stress.

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