Paws in Wonderland

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Support ITA in enhancing quality of life through the human-animal bond!

Join us for a night of enchantment at “Paws in Wonderland,” ITA’s annual fundraiser! Experience an evening filled with magical cuisine and drinks, whimsical entertainment, and both silent and live auctions. You’ll have a chance to pet some therapy animals and opportunities to win fantastic prizes through various FUNdraising activities. This event also celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Intermountain Therapy Animals’ Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program. Come support Intermountain Therapy Animals and be part of a memorable celebration!

Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) is a non-profit organization founded in Salt Lake City in 1993. We provide animal-assisted interactions and therapies to the communities in Utah and Montana, and we have affiliate organizations across the US. ITA alone has over 300 therapy teams who visit over 170 facilities spending time with individuals who are in need and going through some of the most difficult experiences of their lives.

Our therapy teams visit those who are physically or developmentally disabled, emotionally or psychologically impaired, lonely or suffering from depression, in settings ranging from hospitals, counseling centers, nursing, extended care and memory care centers, detention homes, schools and libraries.

Research has shown that animals can have a significant positive impact for people with a whole range of diagnoses and situations. ITA animals can induce immediate physiological improvements, including lower blood pressure, slower breathing, greater calm and relaxation. They go on to enhance therapeutic goals that include:Empathy • Physical Contact • Outward Focus • Nurturing • Mental Stimulation • Rapport • Acceptance of Self and Situation • Patient Compliance • Socialization

This year’s fundraiser will celebrate Reading Education Assistance Dogs’ (R.E.A.D.®) 25th Anniversary. The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors. The R.E.A.D. program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to an animal. But not just any animal. R.E.A.D. companions are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.

R.E.A.D. is the first and foremost program that utilizes therapy animals to help kids improve their reading and communication skills and also teaches them to love books and reading. It’s been growing around the world since November of 1999 when ITA launched it here in Salt Lake City. More than 7,200 therapy teams have trained and registered with the program and are going strong!

Today, thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico and 26 other European, Asian, Central American, and South American countries. R.E.A.D. is one of those ideas that, in the words of Bill Moyers, “pierces the mundane to arrive at the marvelous.”

Here are some ways you can support ITA:

  • ATTEND our “Paws in Wonderland” fundraiser on October 3rd by purchasing a ticket or reserving a table for yourself and your friends.
  • SPONSOR a table: You and/or your company will receive prominent recognition and thanks in all promotional and night-of-event materials.
  • JOIN with ITA as a sponsoring partner to champion animal-facilitated therapy services. Reach out to Melissa@TherapyAnimals.org to discuss all the options and benefits.
  • CONTRIBUTE an item, or several, for our silent or live auctions. For more information, please reach out to Lilly@TherapyAnimals.org.
  • GIVE to support ITA or the R.E.A.D.® program with a gift of any size.
  • VOLUNTEER at the fundraiser! To express your interest, please reach out to Karen@TherapyAnimals.org to learn more.

Check out our Bonfire store!

Support Intermountain Therapy Animals and the R.E.A.D. Program by getting a cute and fun shirt:
You can get multiple different styles and colors! Every purchase from our store on Bonfire gives ITA a percentage of the sale. This is a fun way to support ITA while also getting yourself or someone else a fun and unique shirt!