In 1994, an Occupational Therapist who had begun using animals in therapy while working at Baylor Rehabilitation Hospital in Dallas, Texas, was recruited to start a similar program at a new rehabilitation hospital (now known as Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital Affiliated with HealthSouth) in Tyler, Texas. She soon relocated to Tyler and she and a small group of dedicated volunteers founded what is now known as Therapet in 1998. Their work using animals in a rehabilitation setting to facilitate better mobility and functionality for the patients set the groundwork for the work Therapet accomplishes today.
Therapet has now been serving east Texas for almost 24 years. What started as a small group of six or seven founding volunteer teams has now grown to over 160 volunteers, about 90 dogs, six cats and a cockatoo. Three of our founding volunteers, Julie Miller, Susie Moore and Bonnie Maywhort (r-l in the above picture), are still volunteering with Therapet. They continue to guide the mission of our organization and support Therapet through their leadership and volunteerism.