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.