Current Programs

LAPS serves a variety of clients in very different settings and locations.  To observe a visit, please arrange first with the program coordinator by calling LAPS at 707 / 265-6642.

Senior & Skilled Nursing Facilities

LAPS teams generally visit ambulatory, well-elderly residents in a common room, although room visits may be requested for residents who are bedridden. Current programs include 

  • Collabria Care (Napa)
  • Cornerstone (Vacaville)
  • Fairfield Senior Center
  • The Meadows of Napa Valley : Villa, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care (Napa)
  • Napa Care Center & Rehab
  • Paramount House (in Vacaville)
  • Piners Nursing and Guest Home (Napa)
  • Redwood Retirement Residence (Napa)
  • Rockville Terrace Senior Living (Fairfield)
  • Sonoma Post Acute Sonoma)
  • The Springs of Napa

Hospitals and Veterans Center

The goal of a LAPS team visit in this venue is to relieve stress, give individuals a break from everyday circumstances, and to give encouragement to individuals, their families and even staff. Current programs :

  • Sonoma Valley Hospital (Sonoma)
  • Sutter Medical Center, Solano Paws on-Call Program (Vallejo)
  • Veteran's Home of California (Yountville)

Young Adult and College Programs

  • Maritime Academy (Vallejo)

Teen & School Programs

Additional training and skills for both the handler and pet are generally required for working with special needs children and at-risk teens. Current Programs:

  • Napa Unified School District (selected elementary school sites)
  • Napa County Juvenile Hall
  • Napa County Juvenile Hall Outreach

CAPERS - Children's Reading Program

Children And Pets Enjoy Reading Success is a LAPS program which provides one-on-one reading assistance to elementary schoolchildren. Current Programs:

  • Solano County Public Libraries - Cordelia, JFK Vallejo, Springstown Vallejo, Town Square Library Vacaville

Starting a New Program

Loving Animals Providing Smiles makes every effort to meet the needs of the clients in the facilities we serve. We have found it is vital to have the support of management and staff in order to have a successful, long-term program at any given venue.

We are limited in the programs we can schedule by the number of available teams.

Our process for establishing and maintaining a program is divided into three sections: Trial Program, Continuing Service, and Annual Reviews.

Trial Program

The Trial Program Application asks the facility representatives to state their goals for animal-assisted therapy teams working with their clients or residents, provides LAPS with information about the client population, physical space, and frequency of visits. After receiving this application, LAPS coordinators review it with our members to see whether enough teams can attend on the days and times suggested. Finally, a LAPS volunteer conducts a site visit, answers any questions, and completes the application with the facility representative. A minimum trial period of three months or three visits is usually agreed upon. A LAPS volunteer is appointed Program Coordinator and is the contact both for the facility and for our teams.

Continuing Service

Following the trial period, a LAPS volunteer will again meet with the facility representative to review the experience, address any concerns and determine whether a program will continue. We need ongoing staff and management support in order to maintain a successful program. If both LAPS and the facility are happy with the program, the Continuing Service Contract is completed.

Annual Reviews

After a year of visits, LAPS will conduct the Annual Review in order to maintain quality control and make sure both LAPS and the facility are satisfied with the program and make any improvements or adjustments.

Requesting a Special Visit

Loving Animals Providing Smiles has supported many community groups with one-time or annual visits for special occasions.

We can provide schools with information and demonstrations about dog safety, similar to the program we’ve done at Browns Valley Elementary School for many years. We recently visited an after-school program for primary school students in Benicia, which included reading practice with our trained CAPERS (“Children and Pets Enjoy Reading Success”) teams. CAPERS teams can support a read-a-thon or other reading activity.

We can meet with facility staff at an in-service training session and share ideas on how best to utilize AAT teams with the facility’s specific client population.

We can speak on animal-assisted therapy to private groups, as we have done for the Kiwanis and other local service clubs.

Our teams have made presentations at the Napa Senior Center, Chef’s Market Pet Night, Napa Premium Outlets Pet Appreciation Day, Young Survivors Conference and on Positively Napa, community access Channel 28’s program hosted by Tim Wilson.

We have also brought our teams to visit at the ParentsCan and Elks Club Christmas parties.  Recently our teams have also been part of Young Survival Coalition, Napa County Recovery Month Celebration, and Napa Give!Guide at Farmers Market.

Yearly we put on an event called Caring Canines.  Open to the general public, we provide a free assessment of the readiness for Animal Assisted Therapy of the attendee's pets as well as answering questions about what it takes to be an AAT team and how to become involved.

In addition, we have participated in Bark for Life, Walk to End Alzheimers and Napa Humane's Walk for Animals.

If your group is interested in a Special LAPS visit, please download and complete the Special Visit Request form (from Downloads section of this page) and mail or fax to us. A volunteer will contact you.

Not in our area?

If you are not in our area, and wish to find a therapy team, the Pet Partners® website keeps a list of registered teams that you might contact.