Alliance of Therapy Dogs
Celebrating 30 Years of Sharing Smiles & Joy

Our Mission

We are an international registry of certified therapy dog teams. At ATD, we provide testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with their dogs in animal-assisted activities. Our objective is to form a network of caring individuals and their special dogs who are willing to share smiles and joy with people, young and old alike.

Our Human Members

We do not rely on fundraising to succeed. No one you see in action nor our testers are paid nor can they charge any fees. Even our board of directors is made up of volunteers. Our only paid employees are our office staff. By keeping our membership costs low, we can provide therapy dog services at no cost to facilities that we visit.

Our Canine Members

We are focused on the well-being and the behavior of your dog regardless of age or breed. We look for well-mannered, well-behaved dogs that enjoy meeting people. While obedience training can be useful in a therapy setting, ATD doesn’t require formal training, certifications, or tests other than our own. All dogs tested for ATD’s certification must be up-to-date on vaccines and have a negative fecal exam in the last year. There is no restriction on diets or supplements given our canine members.  Dogs may also be fed treats on therapy dog visits if the facility also allows treats. ATD is open to register any breed of dog except wolf or coyote mixes.

Our Testing Process

Unlike other therapy dog organizations, we have a unique testing process that involves handling your dog. Our testing is designed to make sure you and your dog have a good relationship with each other and that your dog has the right temperament for therapy dog work. After the test, a Tester/Observer (T/O) will monitor you and your dog during three visits to facilities that include two visits to a medical facility. During these supervised visits, the T/O will instruct you and your dog on the art of visiting and give you advice and guidance while observing you in action. If all goes well, the T/O will pass you and your dog and recommend you for dog certification with ATD.

Where We Work

Our teams provide therapy in many settings, including but not limited to airports, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab facilities, mental health institutions, schools, hospitals, cancer centers, hospice facilities, college campuses and can also provide therapy in patients’ homes. ATD doesn’t restrict where our teams visit. ATD teams may choose to be members of local therapy dog groups. They may also participate in nation-wide therapy dog initiatives with organizations like the Red Cross and R.E.A.D. Additionally, we allow our members to visit with teams who may be registered with other organizations.

Our Fees

Registration is very affordable. For $30 a year (plus an initial one-time $15 new member fee), a team can be registered with ATD and covered by our insurance in order to share in the mission of sharing smiles and joy with their dog.


Be a Member!


Are you interested in becoming a member of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs? Learn how you and your dog can join.


Want Us to Visit?


ATD registered therapy teams are ready to visit your facility. You will see many happy faces as a result!


Kim Williams– President

Hello from Kearney, Nebraska, the Crane Capital of the World!

Kearney is a wonderful community that has been extremely welcoming to pet therapy teams. Penny, my corgi, first introduced me to the world of pet therapy in 2004. She was the ideal canine for the task. She, along with the local T/O and teams, mentored me, and I developed a lifetime interest in pet therapy as a result. The emphasis on the bond between handler and dog(s) was (and continues to be!) what drew me to ATD. I witnessed firsthand the loving bond created by Penny with those we visited. Even after many years, I am constantly astonished by the impact a dog visit can have on those we meet.

I have three dogs. Sigmund and Winnie are Bernese Mountain dogs. They are still pups, but I look forward to working with them when they are a little more seasoned.  Finnegan is a Pyrenees-mix. He is the elder dog who has set the bar high for the pups to become regal and calm.

I am honored to serve as President of the ATD Board of Directors and to witness and hear about the wonderful events and experiences that our members are creating in communities around the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Working with our dogs brings us joy, as does being a member of a large network of caring people.

Don Vaughan – Vice President

Greetings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes! Though I’m originally from northern Illinois, my wife, Stephanie, and I have called Minnesota home for almost 17 years. A photojournalist and photographer by trade, I also spent a couple of years specializing in equestrian event photography. I have been a member of Alliance of Therapy Dogs since December of 2002, the last 12 years as a tester/observer. I was elected to the board of directors in June 2016 and have been serving as vice president since July 2021. I am honored by this opportunity to serve you and ATD.

Stephanie and I currently share our home with a rescued 7-year-old female Newfoundland, Ila, and a rescued 5-year-old Olde English Bulldogge, Henry. Ila joined us in June 2021, and Henry joined us on Halloween 2021. Both Ila and Henry became registered with ATD in June 2022.

Besides therapy work, Stephanie and I focus on rescuing giant breeds, especially rare mastiffs. We have owned a Tosa Ken (Japanese mastiff), a Dogue de Bordeaux (French mastiff), and two Neapolitan mastiffs (sometimes referred to as an Italian mastiff, but different than a Cane Corso), as well as a Saint Bernard, an Irish Wolfhound, and a Great Dane mix. Henry, our Bulldogge, is a slight curveball for us from the giant world. However, he is large for his breed.

Our Tosa Ken, Saint Bernard, and Dogue de Bordeaux all had the honor of being registered ATD dogs, as well. Over the years, my visits have included nursing homes, educational seminars, hospice, a local airport, hospitals, church services, and Girl Scouts. For better part of a decade, my focus had been on correctional facilities, including a federal prison, two county jails and a juvenile detention center. Since Ila and Henry became certified, my focus has been with mental health and substance abuse counseling.

In addition to therapy work, our Saint Bernard enjoyed hiking and carting. He even gave weight pulling a go. I love to hit the open road with my wife riding shotgun and our dog(s) in the backseat, ready to explore. If I’m not on the open road, there is a good chance you will find me in the kitchen cooking, my other passion. Last, but not least, if there is snow falling from the sky, I am usually one happy camper! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!

Please continue sharing smiles and joy!

Laurie Schlossnagle– Secretary

Hello from Salt Lake City, Utah (until we move to the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area in Fall 2023)!!!

It has been an amazing year of growth and learning for me as a director and I love the new things the board is doing. I am super excited to have a front row seat to the great things happening with ATD.

We still have our four dogs – Dolly (13-year-old Beagle/Boxer mix), Blitz (10-year-old Aussie/Catahoula/Cattle Dog mix), Emme (6-year-old Beagle), and Bellatrix (4-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog) and I also love being a “grandpawrent” to my daughters’ dogs – Rafael (7-year-old Shih Tzu), and Auggie (5-year-old Cardigan Corgi). I am privileged to be certified to do therapy dog work with Dolly, Emme, and Bellatrix. They all have their favorite visits, so I get to do lots of different things with them – including conferences, memory care units, assisted living facilities, and rehab hospitals. We are hoping to add airport visits to our repertoire once we get moved!

I am honored to step to the start line with my dogs in several dog sports – Rally, Obedience, and Scent. I also judge all three sports, and we dabble in Tracking, Musical Freestyle, Conformation, Tricks, and Games.

My husband, Karl, and I have four children between us (three daughters and one son) with their spouses and significant others. Karl and two of our children are also therapy dog handlers as well as one of our daughters-in-law. Earlier this year, Karl retired from his 35-year career with the federal government, and I decided to go back to school! I am working on becoming a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer and when I graduate from that course, I will be switching my focus as a certified professional dog trainer to separation anxiety cases, snake avoidance training, dog sports coaching, and of course, therapy dogs! I am very excited to be making this shift and to see where it takes me. Working with dogs and their humans is such a privilege, no matter what we are working on.

Please never hesitate to reach out to me or to ATD in general if you have questions or need something. We are here to support you and your dogs in sharing smiles and joy!

Sandy Schiller – Treasurer

Hello from North Carolina, where I was born and raised. I retired in 2022 and have welcomed the chance to spend even more time doing what I love – spending time with my dogs and supporting families facing the end of life for their loved ones. I joined Alliance of Therapy Dogs in 2017 and then became a Tester/Observer.  I am privileged to be serving my second year as an ATD Director. Watching the peace and smiles my dogs provide to the people we visit, made me even more committed to the work and to assisting other teams work toward achieving their own amazing experiences.

My mother passed away under hospice care and as a result, when I was provided the opportunity, I began working and volunteering for a local hospice. In 2016, Phoebe (Pembroke Welsh Corgi) came into my life, and we joined ATD. We began visiting hospice patients, hospitals, assisted living facilities and a Ronald McDonald house. She quickly become known as the Corgi in the Tutu. Hailey and Huxley, retired racing greyhounds, joined our pack in 2019 and quickly took to their new roles as therapy dogs, and we added visits to colleges, a rehab hospital, and a juvenile detention facility to our schedule. In 2022, Sydney, another retired racing greyhound, joined the Schiller Pack and took to therapy work without missing a step. Of all my dogs, he truly gravitates to children, so we are exploring opportunities that highlight his talents.

When not escorting my therapy partners, I compete in Rally, Obedience, and Agility with Phoebe. This year Phoebe has achieved her Rally Obedience Championship (RACH) and her 1st Agility title. She is the first dog I have formally trained with and while therapy work is our primary focus, she amazes me daily with her performance potential. If only she had a handler who could match her potential, she would be unstoppable. Huxley, Hailey, and Sydney have no interest in performance games other than FastCat, as they take their retirement very seriously. When not visiting as therapy dogs, they do enjoy supervising their sisfur’s training and competitions.

Monica Callahan – Director

We have enjoyed the past two years living near the beach! A new job opportunity for my husband means we’ll be making our way a little more south, closer to Charleston, South Carolina, this year. Our airport program at the Myrtle Beach Airport is flourishing, as are our ATD member numbers in the Myrtle Beach area. I always enjoy seeing our organization grow and reach new potential members. 


All of the dogs are doing great. This past year, we let Quint’s therapy dog status go because he just wasn’t enjoying the job anymore. It’s important that if our dogs aren’t enjoying the job, we don’t force them to continue. However, we did welcome two new therapy dogs! Disco and her son, Hip Hop, have officially become therapy dogs and are enjoying their airport visits. It’s interesting learning to work with a new breed and a new size of dog. It’s been fun learning how each dog enjoys visiting and how to make sure everyone is comfortable and safe. 


My children are 9 and 11 now, and my daughter looks forward to turning 12 so she can become a Junior Handler with her dog, Hip Hop. My hope is the dogs are experienced enough in two years to make her job easier as a Junior Handler. I can’t wait to share the joy of volunteering with her. 


Please feel free to reach out to me about anything! We are all available to hear your comments. That is my favorite thing about ATD: how accessible this organization is to the comments and concerns from our volunteers. As we grow, we always strive to keep our mission in mind!

Cris Lewis – Director

The Fox Valley in northeast Wisconsin is where I currently live, but I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, giving me the opportunity to be bilingual and to know how to tolerate heat/humidity and snow/cold!

I have been an ATD member since 2002, when the impact of a therapy dog team visiting us in a hospital waiting room triggered my interest to get involved. Fast forward to 2023, and my eighth certified therapy dog has just joined the ATD ranks. Thousands of visits have offered knowledge, joy, and bonds with my dogs that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My experience as a Tester/Observer for many years, and now starting my third year on the Board of Directors, have enhanced my knowledge of therapy dogs and all that they do.

My passions are swimming (I coached for many years and now I officiate) and dogs (I train, compete, and have a small breeding program that focuses on preserving the Dachshund breed). We have been a law enforcement family here for decades. When my passions and background intersect with therapy dogs, the concept of “six degrees of separation” gains a whole new meaning, as I find people we visit from unexpected parts of my life. Therapy dog volunteering has allowed me to watch incredible things happen between therapy dogs and the many wonderful people met along the way.

I try to live life with this thought in mind: in a world full of problems, I try to be a solution, even if it is a small one.

I look forward to continue serving on the board for something that has made a positive difference in so many lives, including my own. If there is anything I can do for our members, please know I will listen.

Stefanie Giese-Bogdan – Director

A warm greeting from River Falls, Wisconsin! Our therapy dog, Abby, is continuing to love her work; she is now visiting seniors in a mental care facility and a hospital, as well as in the homes of seniors. It is great to have another certified dog; she continues our over 20-year history of working with therapy dogs. We still have our second dog, Johnny, and he is still our worry bug and remains our reminder that even the sweetest, most affectionate dogs might just not be therapy dog material, and that is okay, too. He is up there in age and was determined to lay down rather than to be in a photo this year. My husband, Axel, and I are excited to see the continued interest in ATD this year; we have tested/observed many teams in the area and know that some great teams are now joining us in visiting patients in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. I am excited to continue our journey and to serve on the board for another year.

Amy Brockel – Executive Director


Hello from the ATD home office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was born and raised in Cheyenne and spent most of my childhood riding horses and participating in 4H, FFA, and roping. After high school, I attended the University of Wyoming, where I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a minor in Marketing in 2004. Professionally, I have worked in finance, insurance, and education. Prior to coming to ATD, I managed several tuition programs and the GED program for the State of Wyoming for 11 years. I met my husband shortly after graduating college and we got married four years later in 2008. Thankfully, he’s also a dog lover, and we each brought one dog to the family. In 2015, we welcomed a daughter, and I am struggling to believe she starts 2nd grade this fall.

What brought me to ATD was a foster dog named Leroy who came to us needing a new start in 2016. When he joined our house, he was just 6 months old, he had no manners or training, but I felt there was something special about him. With some convincing, my husband agreed to adopt the oversized, doofy Doberman. After we completed training and his CGC, multiple trainers told me Leroy would make a wonderful therapy dog. With that advice, we started the process to become an ATD volunteer team in the summer of 2018.

Shortly after becoming a volunteer, I learned of a job opening and interviewed and was offered the position as the ATD Office Manager in late 2018. I was then promoted to the Executive Director position in the ATD office following Billie Smith’s retirement in 2021. It has been a rollercoaster of challenges and changes since I started. The biggest hurdle being the pandemic that changed life for all of us. ATD worked hard to keep members informed, granted some temporary waivers on visits, and continued to provide insurance for those who were comfortable visiting. During that time, our staff worked hard to improve our internal processes and technology, making the best of the slowdown that the pandemic brought us. Thankfully, our hard work paid off and our organization received incredible loyalty and support from our members throughout these challenging times. As I write this update, in 2023, our membership numbers are higher than our pre-covid numbers, and we are seeing more facilities than ever requesting therapy dog visits.

I continue to volunteer with Leroy as an ATD team ensuring we are meeting the visit and logging requirements like all our members are asked to do. I am incredibly proud to be a part of ATD as a volunteer and an employee and I hope to continue in both roles for many years to come.

Katie Whiteley – Operations Manager

Katie and Bianca

I am 4th generation born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I have lived here all my life and I enjoy everything Wyoming has to offer. I love hiking, camping, swimming, sunbathing, and anything else that involves the great outdoors! I enjoy spending time with my husband, our two dogs, and one cat. We travel whenever possible and have been to 17 states so far and we hope to be able to visit all 50. We have been to Mexico and the Bahamas and would love to tour Europe someday. The most exciting thing to me about visiting new places is the food and the culture, there’s always something new to try and learn.

I started working in the fast-food industry when I was 15 years old. Then, after a few years and a couple of odd jobs, I spent 19 years in the medical field. I first worked with humans at a local radiology clinic and then began to work with animals in a veterinary clinic. I grew up with cats and had no real affinity for dogs. My love of dogs came many years later thanks to my sister when she began working with a local rescue, and my husband and I fell in love with one of her foster puppies. Winifred fit in quite well with our cats, although they were unsure why I would dare to bring a dog into their home. We have since had four dogs of our own and have fostered nearly 100 dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. I now have a keen sense of dogs and am able to assist friends and family with questions or problems they may have. Animals are, quite simply, my joy. They are also a lot of work and have caused us to shed blood, sweat, and tears but they are always worth it. We have some pretty amazing foster stories that I am quite proud of and will forever be fond of.

I am delighted to be a part of the team at Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Our mission is one I am proud to be a part of and I look forward to many years of sharing smiles and joy with all of you.

Adriana De La Hoya- Lead Processor


I worked at ATD for seven years prior to moving out of state in January 2019 but was able to come back to ATD in February 2021. I now reside in Cheyenne again with my daughter, who is in high school. On the weekends, we are often in northeast Colorado spending time with family who reside there.

Bridget Murray-Member Service Representative

Sara Harris photo coming soon!

Hey, all! My name is Bridget. I was a transplant from West Virginia; I, my husband, and two children moved to Cheyenne in 2021. We recently moved back to West Virginia in early 2023, and I currently work remotely for ATD.

Before moving to Cheyenne, I was the general manager of a national and local award-winning hotel for seven years. I have worked over 15 years in the hospitality industry, and when moving to Cheyenne, decided I wanted to do something different.

Back home, I spent a lot of time volunteering on different boards and committees and finding other ways to give back to my community, like volunteering for VITA, the Humane Society, and many other organizations. So, when offered the opportunity to work in an organization like Alliance of Therapy Dogs, I was more than excited to go to work with an organization whose mission statement really resonated with me. It was a change from what I was used to, but still contributes to society in a very positive way.

When I am not working, I enjoy time at home with our two dogs, hanging out with my family, finding other ways to help contribute to my new community, many outdoor activities, music, and reading.

Sara Harris-Member Service Representative

I moved from the Adirondack Park, in New York, to Wyoming a little over three years ago and couldn’t be happier. Wyoming is a beautiful state with easy access to Colorado and Nebraska, providing endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and explore new places. I enjoy the thrill of finding new lakes and rivers to fish and paddle, I’m an avid gardener, and will take every opportunity there is to enjoy the outdoors with my seven-year-old husky mix, Roxy!

I’ve had a few different occupations over the years. However, none has been more rewarding than working for this organization. Our members share stories of the impact their therapy dogs have on peoples’ lives daily, and I enjoy listening to each and every one of them. This organization consists of very special people and dogs alike, and we wouldn’t exist without them!

Jared Wadley – News Magazine Editor

A very warm greeting from Ypsilanti Township, Michigan. My family has been active in therapy work since 2010 with three collies (Bella, Legend, and Bree). My son, Jordan, became a junior therapy dog handler in 2013 and is now a supporting member. My other son, Devin, also a supporting member, joined ATD as a junior handler in 2017. They graduated from the University of Michigan and LaSalle University (Philadelphia), respectively, in 2023. We are all members of Therapaws of Michigan, which serves Southeast Michigan. 

Bree currently visits the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the University of Michigan, and American Red Cross events. 

I’m honored to serve as one of the ATD Newsmagazine editors. I always look forward to editing your uplifting stories and seeing the wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing your dogs!

When I’m not volunteering, I’m busy as the lead public relations representative at the University of Michigan. The university will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where I initially learned about therapy dogs. 

Stacey Shultz-Bisset – Graphic Designer

Stacy Schultz-Bisset

Hello from Wyoming. I am the graphic designer for your News Magazine and Handbooks. I’ve been with Alliance of Therapy Dogs since 2002 and have been designing the Newsmagazine and the Handbooks since 2004.

I have had five therapy dogs. The first one was Gretchen, a Lab/Newfoundland. She was a diabetic who had a lot to talk about with the diabetic patients we visited at the VA hospital. The second was Hanna, a Great Pyrenees. Hanna was also Santa’s dog at Breakfast with Santa at the local hospital. My husband, who was a member of Alliance of Therapy Dogs at the time, was Santa. They were followed by Bebe and Carma, both Newfoundlands. Finally, we have Hank, who I believe may be an Australian Shepherd/Pyrenees mix. He is the smallest therapy dog I’ve had at only 60 pounds. With all my dogs, I have visited the local nursing homes, hospital, hospice, VA hospital, and local college. As Hank has recently retired, I am in training with Beau, a Newfoundland. I hope he will soon be ready to test.

My day job is at the local community college where after many years of being the senior graphic designer I am now the manager of internal communications and printing.

Thank You for Helping Us Share Smiles & Joy!

We want to thank these organizations for their generous financial contributions to help us increase the number of certified therapy dog teams who are out there working daily to visit those in need!


Be a Member!


Are you interested in becoming a member of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs? Learn how you and your dog can join.


Want Us to Visit?


ATD registered therapy teams are ready to visit your facility. You will see many happy faces as a result!