Loving Animals Providing Smiles (LAPS) is an all-volunteer organization of well-trained, registered animal-assisted therapy teams. Each team is made up of one handler with one animal. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our clients and improve their overall well-being.

COVID-19 Announcement

Important news: for the health and safety of our volunteers, students, clients, loved ones and community, and in keeping with CDC and local guidance, the Loving Animals Providing Smiles Board made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone indefinitely all visits/programs, as well as our training classes, meetings, and volunteer luncheon. The Board will revisit this decision no later than May 31st. Further communication will be sent to our volunteers and students later today from our Board. Program coordinators will receive information about communication to facilities shortly. 

Please follow us on Facebook for updates as we have them. In addition to pictures from some recent programs and classes, we’ll be running some “throwback” posts of our Loving Animals to provide virtual Smiles during the coming weeks. There are lots of fun training games that also teach skills. Hoping to have video to share soon.

2020 LAPS AAT Class

The next Animal Assisted Therapy Team Handling skills class is planned for Fall 2020. The flyers below are for previous sessions. 

Application and Flyer for Canine Teams

Class flyer

Canine Team Application

Associate Member Application

Application and Flyer for non-Canine Team
 (mini Horse, Cat, Bunny, mini Donkey

Flyer for Mini-Hooves class

Mini Hooves Team Application

Mini Hooves Associate Member Application

Download an application for a non-Canine Team

Remembering Loving Animals Providing Smiles President and Senior Handler Judi Kannon

Our beloved LAPS president, Judi Kannon, went to rest in December. Our hearts are with her husband Barry, furkid Lew, and all her family and friends in this time of loss. We will honor Judi as she requested, with joyous memories, love, and kindness. We hope that you will join us in celebrating her wonderful life and giving spirit by spreading kindness and love every day. 

Judi was an exceptionally creative and caring individual. She came into LAPS in 2012 with Chloe, her Wheaton Terrier, full of enthusiasm. Marilane shares a memory of the first time Judi went to a visit with Chloe – “Judi sparkled.” At that visit and every visit that followed, at meetings, special events, and classes, Judi was generous, giving, fun-loving, charming, and elegant all in one person. She had such a kind spirit. People and pets adored her. As a new LAPSer, Judi loved how much joy Chloe was bringing to seniors and how much kindness she was receiving in return. In 2016 she started visiting with Lew and a short time later became our President. She worked so hard for Loving Animals Providing Smiles, always wanting to do her best and better. Continuing as a therapy team as well, Judi and Lew spread such joy on all they met. She had this knack of making friends with all our clients, knowing their names and many things about them. The world lost a shining light and heaven gained an angel with her passing. 

Judi’s sincere appreciation for LAPS and our volunteers never wavered. She was an important part of the core that keeps LAPS strong. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. The world is a little less bright without Judi, and LAPS has lost a gift with her passing. But we also know how lucky we and our students, members, and clients are to have spent time with Judi and felt the kindness she freely shared. She made such an impact on each of us. As individuals and an organization, Loving Animals Providing Smiles will remember her always. Together we are committed to celebrate her life and example in each visit by making a difference in someone’s life. We can think of no better way to celebrate her legacy than to focus on bringing joy to others.

Judi’s family have posted a remembrance online; you can find it here https://www.legacy.com/obituar…/name/judith-kannon-obituary…. LAPS is grateful and honored to have been selected as her memorial charity.

We love you Judi. Thank you for our time together, and until we meet again, Godspeed and God Bless.