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  • ​Noreen Lyman/Hospital
  • Jerry Nickell/Library/Assisted Living
  • Renee Leach/Military Welcome Center
  • Shawn Coughin/Library

"Do H.A.L.O. teams need to be trained to volunteer in certain areas?"

H.A.L.O. is not a training facility, however, we can and do give tips on becoming effective in your choice avenue of volunteerism. Volunteer teams are screened for participation in many areas. We depend on and expect each team to practice obedience skills daily, and expect a high level of obedience to be maintained. The best advice for all team handlers is to attend to the pet's needs first and foremost, do not overdo a visit, and always watch for signs of fatigue or stress. Team handlers must always act as their pet's sole advocate.

Beverly Fentress and XJ join this in-service held as a part of H.A.L.O.'s continuing education program.

"It's All About The Link!"

H.A.L.O. Philosophy and Mission

Young and old alike learn as they nurture a visiting dog, they are nurturing themselves at the same time.


Stacy Schenck

H.A.L.O. sponsors a Junior Handler program for volunteers, age 12 and up, wishing to serve the community with their qualified pet. Junior Handlers must be evaluated and succeed on their own merit. Senior Handlers must always be present at each visit. At the age of 18 with a successful status, the Junior Handler takes the Senior Handler role.

We believe in the health and wellness our pets deliver to those who find themselves in times of transition, trauma, or crisis. We believe our pets are a driving force leading human beings of all ages, maybe for the first time ever, into experiencing a calm, no strings attached, sincere relationship.

"Can my pet and I make a successful therapy team?"

A successful handler must have a keen awareness of personal strengths and vulnerabilities while volunteering. You and your pet will be facing a variety of situations in many different environments. You must be flexible, personable, articulate, reliable, and consistent in your behaviors. Appropriate manners and dress are a must while visiting or representing H.A.L.O. during all activities. Our teams must have the social skills needed to engage with strangers, and our dogs must demonstrate a high level of obedience at all times. Teams must show the ability to interact positively with residents, staff, and family members present, while at the same time, always being aware of the pet’s needs first. If you are one who is a team player and can follow all rules and regulations as stated in the form which you will sign, then you and your pet will be quality representatives of H.A.L.O.

"What are the health screening requirements needed to participate?"

Yearly exams are required to ensure that your animal is in excellent health. We must rely on your veterinarian's medical judgment and knowledge of the animal's health history, temperament, and disposition. Animals that visit people must be healthy, clean, and well- mannered so that they pose little risk. External parasite controls will vary. Your pet must be taking a supplement to lessen the risk of all internal parasites. Rabies vaccinations will be either yearly or every three years, and all medical history must be current and on file at H.A.L.O.'s office.

 "Are puppies and kittens candidates for pet therapy?"

Pets may be evaluated at one year of age or older. Our reasoning for making this decision is that puppies and kittens have not yet developed a fully operating immune system, and visits could contribute to illness. Also, puppies and kittens play with their mouths and are not fully predictable. This can place the animal and visitors at risk.

"What steps do I need to take in order to become an animal assisted therapy team?"

Your initial contact is to the Intake Coordinator at Introduce yourself and your pet. Write a short narrative stating when your pet became a member of your family, breed, age, and why this type of volunteer work interests you. Include your pet’s level of obedience training and if he/she has been awarded with AKC's Canine Good Citizen Award. Attach a crisp, clear photograph of your pet. Discuss your pet’s temperament and disposition, and the venues we offer which are of interest to you.

On this web site, you will find the Member Application Form and the Rules and Regulations Agreement. These forms must be printed, completed, signed, and dated. A complete and current veterinarian report is a requirement as well, including a record of all vaccinations, health issues, and results of a fecal exam given at least four months prior to your evaluation date. A statement of your dog's disposition and temperament must be written by your veterinarian. These forms must be scanned and emailed to the Intake Coordinator prior to completing information necessary for a required background check. All documents will be reviewed as received, and you will be contacted to schedule your assessment.

Should the evaluation be successful, dues of $50.00 to be received. Your dog will be fitted for the vest, and the H.A.LO. logo patch and a Therapy Dog patch will be issued for you to sew onto the vest. Your dog's name strip will be ordered, as well as an optional magnetic ID. You will leave the evaluation site assigned to a H.A.L.O. mentor who will then schedule your post evaluation visit with a designated partner facility. After this qualification visit has been successful, you will have earned the status of a H.A.L.O. qualified team. You may then go forward to pursue the preferred partner facility which best suits you and your dog.

Jerry Nickell and Charley are the perfect ambassadors to those traveling to and from our state at Will Rogers World Airport.

"What does H.A.L.O.’s insurance cover?"

As you volunteer for H.A.L.O., you and your pet have commercial general liability coverage. This means if the handler or animal cause even the most minimal harm at a facility while the team is visiting, and that harm results in a claim for which H.A.L.O. is deemed liable, H.A.L.O.’s commercial general liability insurance will defend and pay expenses of the claim. H.A.L.O.'s commercial general liability insurance will be primary, however, make note of these exclusions below:

1. H.A.L.O.'s commercial general liability insurance does not provide coverage for either member of a team outside the state of Oklahoma, or a situation causing a loss to another H.A.L.O. volunteer. Such losses are the personal responsibility of the Handler.

2. Losses caused by H.A.L.O.’s teams are insured only to the extent of the limits of H.A.L.O.'s commercial general liability insurance. If a H.A.L.O. team causes a loss that is in excess of the limits of the commercial general liability insurance, excess losses are the personal responsibility of the team Handler.

3. H.A.L.O.’s commercial general liability insurance does not provide coverage for losses that are caused by intentional acts or as a result of teams acting outside the scope of H.A.L.O. volunteer activities. Such losses are the personal responsibility of the Handler.

"What is the difference between Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities?"

Animals can assist in adding that "nudge" toward emotional and physical welfare of those we visit. Animal assisted therapy occurs when we work directly with a licensed health care professional, educator, librarian, or human service provider in order to assist patients to meet specific measurable goals. Animal assisted activities occur when we meet and greet people to brighten their day by comfort or social interaction. Our animals can be the catalyst that may be effective in minimizing crisis or trauma whether it is temporary or ongoing.

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Board Members

  • Tracy Rosecrans
  • Bev Reed

About Us

AAT/AAA Evaluator

  • Glenda Bitner​
  • Dena Newlun
  • Norenn Lyman

"If my pet and I meet H.A.L.O.'s criteria for therapy work, what specifically does this mean?"

H.A.L.O.'s evaluator must qualify that the team has obedience to a high level, and that the pet displays consistent and reliable behaviors necessary to be a visiting animal. Your level of confidence and competency will enter into the decision where you may best serve. You must agree to follow all rules and regulations as stated in H.A.L.O.'s forms, as well as adapt each chosen facility's regulations. It is necessary to always remember you are a team providing services necessary to each venue. Compassion, awareness, and the ability to discern exactly what is expected of you is a must.


  • President: Mr. Kieran Maye
  • Vice President-Mr. Derald Riggs
  • Secretary- Mrs. Stacey Schenck
  • Treasurer- Mrs. Shirley Kendrick

501c3, 170b Charitable Foundation

Alia exhibits a professional image of a therapy dog, with a high standard of obedience to match!

New Member Coordinators

  • Marcia Bowermon/Airport
  • Dena Newlun/Hospital
  • Sheri Wetekam/MWC
  • Seddie Barber/Schools
  • Suzi Steed/YWCA