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"For the Love of Therapy Animals!" Club
A very special program for kids 9-14 years old.

This program for kids is for "animal lovers" who would enjoy learning more about the development, training, and role of our dogs, bunnies, guinea pigs and fish as therapeutic animals.

Participants have the opportunity to work directly with our AaTs animals at our Center in Milford.

This hands-on experience includes training and care for the animals' overall well-being. Each session participants will be engaged in practicing basic training skills, agility play, grooming and dental care, and a myriad of other activities designed to increase bonding with both the animals and fellow peers.

Our emphasis is on the connection between nature, animals, farms, food and a healthy style of living. We even tend our own garden at the Center during Spring, Summer and Fall often preparing delicious, healthy food for both the animals and people in our kitchen!

During each session, participants gain volunteer experience taking the animals on therapeutic visits to facilities in the community under the supervision of AaTs staff. They will discover first-hand the unconditional love, joy, and healing the animals bring!


Key Components of the Program:

  • Foster love and care for animals

  • Acquaintance with the field of training 

  • Experience handling and caring for AaTs Credentialed Animals

  • Learn how basic training skills shape an animal's behavior

  • Understand the communication and body language between humans and animals

  • Introduce volunteer and career opportunities that involve animals

  • Participate in a community therapeutic visit under the guidance of AaTs staff

  • Promote social interactions between fellow peers who share common interests



Grades 3-5: Tuesdays, 4-6pm, November 12 - January 21

Grades 6-8: Fridays, 3:30-5:30pm, December 6 - January 31. 

8 week sessions run consistently September - June.


$250/session, 16 participants maximum/session

About the Director:

Beth Patella is co-founder/Director of AaTs. She holds a Masters Degree in Recreational Therapy. Beth specializes in Animal Assisted Interventions as part of her therapeutic practice. She is also a certified Sound therapist and often incorporates this musical intervention with her clients and groups.

Beth has many years' experience leading and directing groups of all sizes and ages throughout the area, including Yale, independent organizations, and schools. Beth is a Certified Teacher in Connecticut and an Adjunct Professor at Southern Connecticut State University in the Recreation and Leisure Department.

Acquiring an Emotional Support or Service Dog

Do you need an Emotional Support  or Service dog? We can help you acquire and train a dog to assist a variety of physical and mental health needs. For more information see our Acquiring a Credentialed AaTs Therapy Dog  page. 


Dog Training Classes

All canine preparation classes are held at our Milford facility with the exception of the West Haven Department of Parks and Recreation Classes which are held in West Haven.

Please call Evelia Rivera, Trainer for specific information and scheduling at (203) 767-3794 or email

We have a selection of classes to prepare your dog to become a well-mannered family dog or a credentialed AaTs Therapy Dog.

  • AKC Star Puppy Kindergarten

  • Family Manners I, II, III (formally Basics I, II, III)

  • Introduction to Therapy Dog Work (This course is for handlers only. No dogs.) 

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen course with evaluation

  • Tricks for Fun and Learning

  • Foundation for the Public Access Test

  • The Public Access Test/Evaluation to become a Credentialed AaTs Therapy Dog Team

For more details on these classes see our Community Dog Training  Classes, AaTs Credentialed Therapy Dog, or Acquiring Emotional Support and Service Dogs page.



Canine Class Registration Forms