Nature Coast Therapy Dogs was started in 2011.  We began as a very small group that has grown over the years.  We now number nearly 30 teams, AND, I am so proud to announce, we have a second chapter of NCTD in Hernando County under the able leadership of DJ Gwilt.  DJ is presently training and evaluating people from the Hernando area who are interested in becoming a valuable assest to their community along with their beloved dogs.  WELCOME HERNANDO COUNTY!!  Many teams are “snowbirds” that travel from the cold North to enjoy Florida’s winter sunshine and outside activities.  Our dogs vary in size from 4lbs to 104lbs!!  No one breed is particularly suited to therapy work – the most individual mutts out there are sometimes the best!

Our mission is not only to bring happiness to those who are in nursing homes or hospitals, but so much more.  We are presently working with a local hospital in its Stroke Clinic to help recent stroke victims rehabilitate.  We visit children in schools to help educate them about dog safety and responsibility of dog ownership; in additon, we offer reading programs to the children in school as well as boys and girls clubs.  We visit daycare centers, have a presence at funeral homes, and offer classes for basic obedience.  One of the more important programs we offer is Courtroom Dogs for Kids – our dogs help children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected and are presently in “the system”.  The dogs not only go through the therapy sessions with the children, they also are available (after specialized training) to go to court with these children, should that become necessary.

We have just started working with the Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice to bring some of our dog teams to young people who’ve found themselves on the wrong side of the law, and are now working hard to pull their lives together to become active, valued members of society.  We’re very excited to be a part of this process for these kids, and hope this is just the beginning of a long partnership!

We hope you will take the time to wander through our pages, and maybe even join our group.  We welcome those wanting to become new members of NCTD!  Please feel free to call our office to request more information  or having a program at your place of work, school or after -school group.


12 Responses to HOME

  1. Deborah Busch says:

    Hi Joanne, It was a pleasure to meet you today with Rafael and Julie. Great website and brochures. Hope to see you again soon. Deborah

  2. JoAnn Bock says:

    Hello, had good fortune to meet “John” in beverlyhills publix with his therapy doodle, he gave me this contact info. I have a 3 yr rescue – doodle and would like to begin his therapy training. I am relocating to caregive for mother and know this dog would be a wonderful candidate. Look forward to hearing from you, sincerely, JoAnn

  3. Donna Mc Kee says:

    I was so excited to meet you today at the Farm Store in Homosassa.
    The dogs were wonderful as well as their handlers. I can’t wait to get started with
    my Bichon Frise in a couple of weeks.
    Thanks for all you and your group do. I know your organization makes a lot of people very happy.

  4. Jeff Cook says:

    I got your contact from Rafael Cabrera
    I live in Inverness and have a 3mo. 3/4Yellow Lab. 1/4 Golden Ret.puppy.
    My goal is to start her training now and all the way to a service dog.
    Any help you could provide would be great.
    Thank you.
    Jeff Cook
    352 464-1051

  5. Marbette Baker says:

    I believe I spoke to someone last. Summer. Im interested in getting my dog tested to be a Therapy animal.I was told that there would be a class starting in January. What do I need to do?

  6. Marbette Baker says:

    I hope you received my email a few minutes ago here it is shorter version I’m interested in getting my dog into therapy work I was told the red be a class starting in January, what do I need to do?

    • wolfshandler says:

      Hi Marbette – yes, we are having a workshop on january 16th from 10-2ish at Jessie’s Place (1410 Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto). You need to bring your dog and shot record. we’ll provide a lunch for you. This is our annual workshop where you’ll learn all that’s involved in becoming a viable therapy team. I look forward to having you there! Please call my office (352-503-7175) to confirm a place.

      Happy Holidays!

      Joanne Peters

  7. Marbette Baker says:

    I’m interested in my friendly little Yorkie poo to become a Therapy animal.can you give me info to apply

  8. As soon as we can we hope to join you. We will be looking for a obidence class first. Thanks

    • wolfshandler says:

      Hello! Thank you for wanting to join us – we offer obedience classes readying our dog teams for therapy work – we meet at Tractor Supply Company in Homosassa each wednesday at 2pm and Saturdays at 10am……..if you would like to talk with me first, please feel free to call me and we can set something up – There is a bit of paperwork to be gone over!

      Looking forward to hearing from you –

      Joanne Peters

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