Human Animal Solutions

About Us

Ann R. Howie, LICSW, ACSWAnn and Diva

Ann has enjoyed and learned from animals in her life since birth (she was up on horseback before she could walk). As an adult, Ann began integrating animals into her counseling practice in 1987 and has worked with animals in (human) health care ever since. She has both state and national credentials as a clinical social worker (counselor).

Ann has incorporated animals into her work in the following settings:

Ann founded and coordinated a hospital animal-assisted activities and therapy program from 1990-1997. Ann was Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society®)’s national Director of AAT Services from 1995-2000, and she is an Eden Associate.

She has written two textbooks for animal-program coordinators (a third is in process) and contributes to internationally recognized training books on handler skills and animal-handler evaluation. She was part of the initial task force to identify standards for the emerging field of animal-assisted therapy. She co-authored a State of the Art Report on infection control implications for animals in healthcare facilities for the Association of Practitioners in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

She is an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver in their on-line Animals and Human Health Certificate program. She has also been an adjunct professor in the Masters in Counseling Psychology program at St. Martin’s University in Olympia, Washington.

Ann was traditionally trained to use coercive dog- and horse-training methods; even as a child she had difficulty with the concept of using force against animals. As an adult she crossed over to clicker training and uses clicker-training principles in her work with both people and animals. Ann has received education in dog training principles and theories and has worked professionally as a dog trainer since 2001.  She is a member in good standing of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Ann shares her life (currently) with two Standard Poodles, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, and multitudes of wild birds and squirrels.

Professional Associations

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Gusto, Office Therapy Dog and K9 Nose Work® Dog.

Photo by Animal Planet Photography

Gusto was the first puppy we had raised in over 10 years, and he revitalized our lives. In the summer of 2015 he was diagnosed with lymphoma, so he has limited working hours.

Flair, Therapy Dog

flair - Therapy Dog with Ann

Flair enjoys working with quiet hospice patients far more than she likes being in my counseling office, so only my hospice patients and families see her. She combines terrier spirit with therapy-dog gentleness.

Diva

Diva came to us in June 2015 as a two-year-old. She acted like she knew us and settled in immediately and happily. She soon started working with clients in my counseling office. She is very patient, living with two terriers!

Contact us for more information or to schedule an AAA/T session with Lightning for you or your client(s).

Boy hugging golden retriever puppy