Love on a Leash: Sometimes the Best Therapist Has Four Legs

During times when comfort is needed and healing is sought, there is something about having the love of an animal. Their unconditional acceptance makes them the perfect therapists. Love on a Leash is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to bringing comfort, happiness, and healing to people nationwide by increasing public awareness of pet-provided therapy.  It provides an avenue for volunteer pet therapy teams, with one human and their dog, cat, or rabbit. 

Love on a Leash was started in the 1980s in California by early believers in the benefits of pet-provided therapy. As the impact of pet-therapy started to be understood, the organization was founded to offer a framework and certification for people to provide pet therapy to others.  Having a national certification helps to maintain a standard process of testing and onboarding, to enhance the experience for all.  

Love on a Leash has always been run by volunteers who are passionate about providing pet therapy, including their Board of Directors.  Over the years, the group has expanded to include members in many different states, and there are currently more than 2300 active members who are working as therapy teams.  Across the country, there are more than 60 Love on a Leash Chapters, including the Triad Chapter. 

Triad Love on a Leash became an official chapter in 2018 with 6 humans and 9 dogs.  Currently there are 17 human members, 20 dog members and several teams in training.  The teams include dogs of all breeds.  Triad Love on a Leash serves the Triad area including Forsyth and surrounding counties.  The teams visit many facilities including schools, funeral homes, assisted living centers, and hospitals along with participating in community events.  Several of the teams have been together for more than 8 years.  The chapter is led by Co-Leaders Pam Madden (canine partners Maggie and Sophie) and Charlene Wellborn (canine partner Ellie).  “There’s something very special that happens when someone needing comfort or just a caring soul, spends time with an animal,” said Pam.  Charlene added that, “Many times the visits are just as meaningful for Ellie and me as they are for the people we are visiting.” 

A therapy pet is trained with its owner, as a team, to provide comfort and stress relief to others in a variety of situations. These visits are always free.  The Triad Chapter is a cohesive group who support each other and in turn support the community.  Charlene said, “Many times our teams form long-standing relationships with community partners.  We are honored and thankful for the opportunity to serve others.”  Triad Love on a Leash Nationally Certified Therapy Dog Teams bring comfort, happiness, and healing to our community.  

For more information on Love on a Leash, visit and Triad Love on a Leash on Facebook. 


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