The Windwalker Humane Coalition

Programs with Adults

Windwalker Pet Assisted Therapy Teams have become integrated in a variety of settings. Therapy pets provide comfort, joy, and goal directed activities to improve mobility and socialization. This section provides descriptions of some of the work of Windwalker Credentialed Teams.

The Shirley Tempo Singers
with Karen Lewis and Lily Rose
St. Elizabeth Assisted Living, Providence

The overall goal of Lily Rose's one and half hour program is to bring joy and laughter to residents at St. Elizabeth's.  Lily Rose knows when it's showtime. She brings the joy. Karen brings the opportunity to reminisce through song.

Two times a month, as Lily Rose and Karen enter the living room where residents are sitting, some people start to clap. Lily Rose and Karen arrive with great fanfare, like Auntie Mame.  Karen holds Lily so she can greet each resident.  When she is put down on the floor she scoots around and tries to figure out who has the liver treats. Karen leads the residents in songs, such as "The Lily Rose" song. They also enjoy singing "How Much is that Doggie in the Window? Ruff Ruff!" They love being silly and laughing together. Karen also leads them in games such as Trivia or "Finish the Sentence".

Most of the group have memory decline but they find great happiness in Lily Rose's visits and they laugh and share stories about their lives and pet experiences. Residents who want special individual time with Lily Rose stay a little later. Lily Rose, a Yorkshire Terrier was born with severe front leg deformities but has a great spirit. Before their work at St. Elizabeth's they had visited the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center weekly for two years.



Lily Rose

My Irish Paws
with Shannon, Maggie Mae and JoAnn Sutcliff
Kent Regency, Warwick

The overall goal of My Irish Paws program is to improve involvement and engagement with residents through their interactions with Maggie Mae and Shannon, Irish Setters. Two times per month residents spend time with the dogs. Residents are motivated to move with activies that JoAnn leads, such as walking with Maggie, often holding her leash from their wheelchair. JoAnn and Shannon walk right behind. They also improve communications by giving commands and rewards to both dogs. Residents regularly thank JoAnn for bringing them in.



Maggie Mae & Shannon

Canine Presence
with Wags, Moxie, Gracie and Bruce Cummings
and Tori with Gale Cummings
Briarwood Rehabilitation and Health Care Center (Needham, MA) Nursing and Rehabilitation Services
Horace Mann Educational Associates (HMEA) (Franklin, MA)
*Day Habilitation Programs in Plainville and Franklin, MA
*Employment Services in Franklin, MA

"Canine Presence" was started in 2016 by Bruce and Gale Cummings in southeastern Massachusetts. Their Irish terriers teams are 'Wags, Moxie, Gracie' with Bruce Cummings, and 'Tori' with Gale Cummings who will complete their PPAT internship in the summer of 2023.

Gale & Bruce have been breeding Irish Terriers for over thirty years, providing love and care which is the foundational training for their therapy dogs. Key traits are health and temperament. Therapy teams visiting nursing and rehabilitation centers assist in meeting each individual's needs.  The teams help facilitate socialization, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve general well-being.

Therapy teams visiting programs for adults with disabilities assist with social community skills, and further facilitate effective communication and pre-vocational functional ability.  Working with staff, an individual's service plan may include physical therapy goals such as improving fine and gross motor skills and increasing tactile contact as required for brushing, combing, and building strength and balance as required for dog handling and walking.

Bruce and Gale hope to start an outreach service providing quality of life comfort visitations to patients in Hospice.

In Gale's words,- "The goal of the PPAT does not simply involve bringing therapy pets in to make patients happy; it's much more than that. It's a transforming of the energy in the room and the state of mind of the terminally-ill patient as they transition. It eases the transition of the patient through a special moment of the canine-human bond."








Mia with Carlos Moreilla
Continuum Organization (Veterans of the Air Force)
Facilities of the RI Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability(BHDDH)

Every other week Mia works together with Carlos, visiting individuals who have different disabilities and challenges. Carlos works with staff to develop individual treatment goals to improve  mobility, attention, and communication skills. Sometimes they also work in groups with games to focus on communication, socialization, and self-esteem. Carlos and Mia also visit hospice patients on a regular basis to bring comfort.




Lizzie's Therapy Tails
with Lizzie and Heidi Mayers
Benchmark Senior Living, Franklin and North Attleboro

The overall goal of Lizzie's program is to improve wellness and feelings of joy with elderly residents and the employees who work at Benchmark.

Every other week for one hour, Lizzie and Heidi visit with the residents of Safe Harbor, the Alzeimer and Dementia Care Unit at Benchmark. Their interactions with residents help to educate and bring memory,  joy, and feelings of love.  Lizzie also visits the Assisted Living Unit once a week to bring smiles and love to everyone. Individuals who are less mobile will have visits in their rooms.

Lizzie is fortunate to be able to accompany Heidi to her job in Human Resources, so residents and staff can experience her on an informal basis often as they walk through. Employees often come visit in her office when they just need to regroup and decompress. Lizzie helps to relieve stress and there is an overall calmness when she is around.




Blue Heron Pet Assisted Therapy
with Isabel (dog), BigBob (cat) and Dr. Kate Hibbard
Vermont Veterans' Home, Bennington, VT (BigBob)
Individuals in their homes (Isabel)

Isabel regularly received text messages from an elderly man she visited once a week in his home where he received palliative care. The goals of Isabel's and Kate's in-home visits were to provide comfort and companionship in the last months of his life and to help him in times of loneliness with canine companionship, as he really missed his dog. Another individual, whom Isabel visits weekly, has a main goal to improve her overall measure of health. Depending upon her state of health on any given visit they walk 1 to 3 blocks while Kate and she have a conversation about pets, her art activities, and more. Using a double leash, the individual holds one leash while Kate holds the other. Their goal is to increase the length of their walks to 1/4 mile.

BigBob is a Therapy Cat. He visits the Veterans' Home every other week. Kate works with a Veteran's Home Social Worker to determine where his services are needed. Overall therapy goals may focus on building communication skills, making choices, or increasing mobility skills. When Big Bob is there, residents make a visible connection with a living being (e.g. leaning in to pet BigBob; brushing him; returning to pet BigBob again; and requesting for him to visit again). They make choices and decisions about how they want to interact with Bob and where they want him to be. Kate feels, and at times is brought to tears, when residents with memory challenges visibly relax and are quietly present in the moment as they connect with BigBob's furry presence.

Future plans include developing a diabetes support program for children who are newly diagnosed with diabetes. BigBob has diabetes, and we look forward to sharing his remarkable journey.



Big Bob

Mr. Cleo with Dr. Noelle Harris, Assistant Dean and Director of Counseling, Religious, and Spiritual Life
Luna with Robert Richards, Associate Director of Counseling Services
Bryant University Counseling Services, Smithfield, RI

Mr. Cleo joins Dr. Harris in the Counseling office at Bryant University every Wednesday from 8:30 to 4:30. Her goal  is to provide supportive services to students who visit the office for counseling services. Luna joins Rob on Fridays and provides stress programs and wilderness walks with students. The interactions, and sometimes just hanging out, are positive, engaging and popular.

Mr. Cleo


Loving Kneads with Mavis and Amber Ramey
Composure Self Care, LLC - Warren, RI

Amber Ramey (Licensed Massage Therapist) owns Composure Self Care which provides Integrative Massage Therapy.  Mavis, her Therapy Dog is included in sessions with the permission of the client and her service is complementary to any massage therapy visit. Mavis's overall goal is to provide immediate comfort and distraction from pain upon entering the massage therapy office. Clients are encouraged to sit down on the couch or floor to pet and enjoy cuddles from Mavis for up to ten minutes prior to their massage. During this time, the therapist may discuss the client's intake form and ask questions about their treatment goals. Mavis's presence often provides a natural invitation for the clients to share more than they would in an otherwise clinical setting, as she creates a warm, trusting environment for them to relax before they lie on the table.

Clients look forward to Mavis being in the office. When the schedule does not permit her to join Amber at the office, the clients will, more often than not, ask where Mavis is the moment they enter the lobby. Amber has often heard, "She is more loving and attentive than my dog," or "She is a joy to be around." Mavis makes most clients smile and brightens their day, and that is what we hope to accomplish as a team as a complement to massage therapy.

Amber and Mavis are taking time off for maternity leave in 2023/2024 and look forward to continuing their work soon.




Who Rescued Who K9 Assisted Therapy
with Callie and Mary McNulty
West Bay RI and Perspectives Corporation

The goal of monthly visits by Callie and Mary is to bring joyful distractions, happiness , love, and smiles to adults with physical and mental disabilities.  Callie, a mix of German Shepherd, St. Bernard, and Siberian Husky was a rescue from Tennessee. She loves her work as a Therapy Dog. They visit group homes and a mental health center. Residents follow Callie on her days off through a Facebook page and Callie's instagram account, Calliegsmcnulty.

Growing with Grace with KarRa and Ann Olean
Access Point

"Growing with Grace"  is Professional Pet Assisted Therapy Program designed for adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive and physical impairments. KarRa and Ann visit Access Point weekly where 8-11 adult individuals participate in the program. The focus of the program is to facilitate the development of cognitive skills, communication skills, social skills and choice making skills through the involvement of KarRa.  Each participant also has the opportunity to develop a personal therapeutic relationship with KarRa through consistent weekly contact.

Participants interact individually with KarRa  before and after the group activity. Strategies are individualized based on their diagnostic profile, learning style and abilities.  Primary teaching strategies include direct teaching, modeling, reshaping, visual supports and verbal praise. Each group activity begins with KarRa demonstrating the process for the members (i.e., bowling ) or being an active "retriever" for an activity (i.e., basketball, cornhole, Astroshot) that encourages turn-taking, waiting, teamwork and social skills.





The following programs are no longer available due to retirement or death:

Agape Pet Assisted Therapy
with Guinevere and Cynthia Vanaudenhove
Eleanor Slater Hospital/Zambarano Campus
(Adults with Disabilities and long-term chronic illnesses)
Village of Waterman Lake Atrium
(Adults living with dementia)


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Mailing Address: 190 Mill Cove Road | Warwick RI 02889

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