Human Animal Solutions


We offer a variety of consulting services to fit every need.


Therapy dog visiting patient in hospital bed

Many hospital staff members (administrators as well as direct-care staff) are interested in taking advantage of the human-animal bond – the relationship between people and animals – to assist their patients. One way of doing this is to offer visits from therapy dogs or other therapy animals.  This is called animal-assisted interactions (AAI).  These interactions come in the form of activities and/or therapy on the menu of healing options offered to patients.


“Thanks so much! You’ll be pleased to know that is a question that had eluded not only me, but also my assistant, for several months! You’ve solved a long-standing mystery for us.”

The presence of trained and screened therapy animals in therapy sessions can have a powerful, positive effect on people with an affinity for animals.

Therapy dog on lead

Imagine someone who loves dogs and who has been hospitalized after a stroke. This person works on physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy exercises with average motivation. Now imagine bringing in a dog and asking the person to do the same therapy exercises, but with one major difference: the patient gets to work with the dog instead of the therapist’s cones or blocks or puzzle pieces. Can you see what a difference it can make if the goal is to reach out to pet a dog rather than reaching out to pick up a wooden block?

IF the animal-handler teams are trained and screened. IF the patient is not fearful or allergic. IF the handler knows how to work both with the animal and with the patient. IF the facility staff know what to do to keep people safe.

As you can see, it is not as effortless as simply bringing in a therapy dog. In order to be successful and safe for all involved (including the animal), lots of people need to know what they’re doing.

As a result, not all hospital staff have confidence that they can adequately address risk management. Areas like infection control, injury, fleas, animals acting badly, make them shudder – as well they should! Hospitals today are often struggling to make ends meet for essential services, and animals don’t seem essential. Is there a way to make ends meet and include animals? Yes! Human-Animal Solutions knows how.


“My administrator came to me after your presentation and said, ‘You hired the right person for this job.’ “

Wanda & Sophie Jun '12

We provide cost-effective consultation about all areas of developing a new or enhancing an existing therapy animal program. To assure quality and protect the consumer, therapy animal programs must be standards based. Ann Howie was part of the team of subject-matter experts who developed Standards of Practice in Animal-Assisted Activities & Therapy in 1989, so we are highly conversant in standards. We can help you avoid common pitfalls, and thus enhance staff, volunteer, and patient satisfaction – and save money.

We help you meet your needs for both people and animals. Here are some common areas about which our consultation services have been utilized:

You will be assured that the volunteers entering your program are suitable and qualified to meet your needs.


“Your joy and comfortableness in working with community groups is so evident. You are gifted and awesome! I feel confident referring people to you.”

If you don’t find your issues in the above list, contact us for additional information.

Eden Facilities


“It was a great pleasure to have some time with you. I am a great fan of your talents and good work.”

Long-term-care facilities have many education needs associated with augmenting their human habitat with animals. Whereas an essential principle in the Eden philosophy is to utilize the experience of staff and residents, sometimes specialized expertise is needed to augment the resources you have on site. We can help you avoid expensive mistakes in animal choice and common pitfalls in incorporating animals into your habitat.

We help you meet your needs for both people and animals. Here are a few common areas about which our training and consultation services have been utilized:


“I appreciate your gracious responses to me. Your willingness to step up to the plate and be there in an instant for staff reflects your commitment to the work and total support to the team. Thank you again, Ann, for being such a wonderful person to work with.”

  • Principle 2 – Surrender the institutional point of view and adopt the human habitat model. We help staff and residents prepare the soil by developing standards-based policies and practices before animals are introduced.
  • Principle 4 – Provide daily opportunities to give as well as receive care. Residential animals require care plans just as do human residents. We help your Animal Committee develop realistic, humane, and thorough animal care plans that can be easily maintained by staff and residents for all animal species.
  • Principle 6 – De-emphasize the programmed activities approach. Staff prepared by Human-Animal Solutions know how to fertilize the soil by writing animal interactions into residents’ care plans, encouraging day-to-day interactions between animals and residents, and trouble-shooting potential animal illnesses or behavior problems.
  • Principle 9 – Edenizing is a never-ending process, not a program. Whether you are just beginning or have already begun Edenizing, Human-Animal Solutions is here to help you turn the soil. Edenizing facilities often seek aid for their Animal Committees regarding the following, and more:

They also seek consultation regarding the following, and more:

Our skilled, compassionate professionals offer you the best in training and consultation for therapy animal programs. If you don’t find your issues in the above list, contact us for additional information.

Girl holding puppy