Tails of Joy Animal Asssisted Therapy, Connecticut

Providing Therapeutic Benefit to People
Through the Use of Animals

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Tails of Joy members volunteer throughout Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and neighboring towns in Connecticut.


What is AAA?


Red "Tulips"

Like all Pet Partner team handlers, Elisa ensures that Mollie is spotless before visiting. Imagine her shock when she saw a red mark on the top of Mollie’s head when leaving a recent visit with M, a woman who shares Mollie’s arthritic condition.

On close inspection Elisa discovered that M had left a full two-lip lipstick kiss above Mollie’s eyes, a sure sign that Mollie had done her job well!


About Tails of Joy

Tails Of Joy was established in 1995 by a small group who were making regular pet therapy visits with their companion dogs to area nursing homes.

Since then the Tails Of Joy family has grown considerably. Members currently visit in a number of facilities and participate in a wide variety of programs with dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Visiting teams are registered with a nationally recognized animal therapy organization.

Animal Assisted Therapy


  • To provide a network of dependable, caring volunteers committed to providing a therapeutic benefit through the use of animals to people who need comfort or company
  • To provide support, training and education to those interested in animal therapy programs
  • To build connections between volunteers, facilities and individuals seeking animal therapy

Based in the Manchester, Connecticut area, Tails of Joy has members throughout Connecticut.
Intermountain Therapy Animals

Tails of Joy is an Affiliate Group of Intermountain Therapy Animals.

2017 - 2018 Board of Directors

President Robert Casey
Vice President Terran Titus
Secretary Marilyn Douglas
Treasurer Jennifer DeGraaf
Board Member Rick Messenger
Board Member Alexis Pariano
Board Member Cheryl Sabella

Tails of Joy, Inc. is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Contributions to support our programs are tax deductible. If you would like to make a contribution with a credit card please visit our secure donation page. To mail a check see our Contact page for address information.

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What is Animal Assisted Therapy?

There are two levels at which therapy visits can be conducted: Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).

AAA allows the handler and companion animal to make visits to a facility on a social level only. This is a very basic level or "beginners level" and does not involve the companion animal and handler to participate in any goal directed therapy. Depending on the facility and the members' preferences, visits can be conducted in small groups with their companion animals, or on a one to one basis.

In contrast, AAT utilizes a companion animal along with a handler and healthcare professional to administer goal directed treatment to a patient. Goal directed therapy requires that a treatment plan be constructed setting specific goals for the patient involving the companion animal.

Tails of Joy members make visits in the central and northeastern areas of Connecticut.

Sites being visited include:

Children's Facilities
Nursing Homes
Rehab Centers
School Systems for all students, including those with special needs
Private Visitations under the auspices of a providing agency, including hospice

Staff members in the health-care facilities we visit and family members of residents in these facilities have reported improvement in the residents' morale and communication after having us visit.

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Intermountain Therapy Animals

Tails of Joy is an ITA Affiliate Organization

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