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Pet Encounter Therapy

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Our guest speaker for this segment is Trisha St. George. Trisha St. George is a lifelong animal lover. Born in Buffalo, NY, one of her childhood memories includes the time that she helped “smuggle” a cat on a flight from Taos, NM to Buffalo. As a little girl Trisha recalls that there were always pets in her home including birds, a rat, cats, mice, and four turtles named Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Moe. In addition she shared her room with hamsters, guinea pigs, and an afghan named Kymble. Trisha began her career in animal welfare in 1994. Her first position was as an animal care provider in the Adoptions department at Helen Woodward Animal Center in 1997. From there she transitioned to the Pet Encounter Therapy department where both Trisha and her cat, Isabella, soon became favorites at the convalescent homes, Alzheimer’s units, and psychiatric facilities they visited. In addition Trisha and “Bella” answered the call to provide comfort and companionship for terminally ill patients through San Diego area Hospice programs. Helen Woodward Animal Center is located near San Diego in the quiet community of Rancho Santa Fe, California. Incorporated in August of 1972 by Helen Whittier Woodward and a group of her animal loving friends, today the Center is recognized internationally as a leader in animal welfare, pet Adoptions, and humane Education. Other HWAC programs include Pet Encounter Therapy for people confined to various facilities, AniMeals for the pets of homebound elderly clients, Therapeutic Riding for those facing physical and mental challenges, a state of the art equine/large animal hospital, and the Club Pet boarding facility.

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