Patchougue Rotary Animal Assisted Therapy
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Patchogue Rotary Animal Assisted Therapy

Dr Dave Hensen and his wife, Dr. Dee Hensen started their veterinary practice in 1992. Shortly after they opened their doors, Dr. Dave began seeking a charitable organization to join, which ended up being the Patchogue Rotary Club.

Through Rotary, he organized what started out to be a community service project and eventually became it's own not-for-profit organization, Patchogue Rotary Animal Assisted Therapy was officially begun in 1993.

Dr Dave's intent was to introduce pet therapy to the local nursing homes in the Patchogue area and enable dog owners to share their dogs with people who would enjoy visits from them and provide them with an opportunity to give back to the community. The first facility we served was the Brookhaven Towne House for Adults.

Since that time, the program has grown to the point that we have visited over thirty different healthcare facilities throughout Suffolk County, with over two hundred volunteers and their dogs. We are now trying to expand the program to involve all of Rotary district 7260 (Suffolk County).

PRAAT carries liability insurance which protects our volunteers in the event of a accident during a visit. We have never had to file a claim for an accident and hope to keep it this way. One of the reasons we have been able to maintain a clean record is because of our strict selection and screening of dogs.

Valeriu Boborelu

Middle Island Rotary Club

Patchogue Rotary Club

Sayville Rotary Club

Rotary District 7260 Suffolk County, NY

The PRAAT Board

  • Dave Hensen, DVM, DABVP:  Founder and President,
    Middle Island Rotary Club
  • Connie Murray
  • Diane Levitan, DVM, DACVIM:  Veterinarian, specialist internal medicine
  • Jodi Alder:  Director of Rehabilitation Southside Hospital
  • Jan Taraskas, CPA:  Accountant, Patchogue Rotary Club
  • Steve Fuoco, CIC, CRM:  Insurance advisor, Patchogue Rotary Club
  • Lorrie Koelbel, MPH, Program Director, Healthcare Management, SBU
  • Catherine Miller, Attorney
  • Henry Bradley III, Islandia Central Islip Rotary.  Membership chair
  • Len Schutzman, retired teacher.  Experienced PRAAT volunteer

De Facto PRAAT board members

  • Arnold Quaranta:  District Governor Rotary District 7260 2010-11
  • Irving Toliver:  District Governor Rotary District 7260 2011-12

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