The Therapy Dog Association off Switzerland (VTHS) was founded in 1994 by Ursula Sissener. The central founding idea was: the unconditional and beneficial love given by a therapy dog should be available to all. To this purpose the VTHS continues to train owners and their dogs to develop into therapy dog teams. After passing their final exams these teams visit where they are needed, in hospitals, retirement homes, or in rehabilitation clinics, etc. Owners only visit with their own dogs, who live as family members. All visits are free (volunteer basis) and strive to maintain or improve the physical and mental well-being of those visited. Animal assisted therapy/support or animal assisted education is the purpose of VTHS visits.
The Therapy Dog Association of Switzerland at a glance
- The VTHS is an organization dedicated to enabling animal assisted therapy, and was founded in 1994.
- The VTHS is a charitable,not for profit organization.
- In January 2018 the organization was comprised of 1,790 members, amongst those 666 active therapy dog teams (certified owner/dog teams currently conducting visits).
- Active teams conduct visits throughout all of Switzerland.
- VTHS training programs are located in ten different cities in Switzerland, and are taught in two languages, German and Italian.
- The VTHS has (as of February 2018) 31 certified trainers, 10 trainers currently working towards certification, and 21 judges.
- Continuing education courses are offered each year.
- The board, team trainers, judges, instructors and active therapy dog teams work exclusively on a volunteer basis.
- The newsletter "DOG" is published three times per year and is mailed to all active and passive VTHS members
- The VTHS is funded through passive member dues (CHF 30.00 per person or CHF 50.00 per couple), institutional memberships (CHF 100.00) as well through donations.