Terri Smith, CEO

Applicant Intake Coordinator

Terri Smith

Carol and Charlie lead the way, preserving peace and calm among the children they serve at Palomar, OKC's Family Justice Center. 

Though our teams take their visits seriously, there is always an event made better by "theme dressing!"  

H.A.L.O. Philosophy and Mission

Officers and Directors: ​2021 - 2022

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

Jerry Nickell and Charley

​Mercy Hospital, Epworth Villa, The Village Library, Will Rogers World Airport

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

A successful handler must have a keen awareness of personal strengths and vulnerabilities. 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 animal assisted therapy.

Sarah Montgomery and Dixie

           Mercy Hospital

Eager to be back on duty during a Covid interruption is Hank, always bringing much needed relief to TSA agents at  Will Rogers World Airport.

H.A.L.O. EVALUATORS-Glenda Bitner & Chance, Eric Leonard and Timber

Chance, so calm and mild mannered, brings out our need to connect and receive.

Dr. Susan Barnes 

   Vice President

"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.

"Can my registered service dog be qualified as a therapy dog too?"

No. A service dog is qualified for one individual with disabilities alone, and is defined by law. Therapy dogs are qualified to be a part of "extended families" everywhere.

"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.

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

Your level of confidence and competency will enter into choosing your preferred venue, as many are offered. You must agree to follow all rules and regulations as stated in H.A.L.O.'s forms, as well as adhere to 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.

Eric Leonard, President​

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.

Tessa Wicks, Treasurer

Field Evaluators

Glenda Bitner, ​ Jerry Nickell, Alex Lane, Eric Leonard, Terri Smith

Technology can be challenging for some, but with Janine to assist, it is much less intimidating for ESL students! 

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Human Animal Link of Oklahoma Foundation

Animal Assisted Therapy & Activities​​ 

                           Director Grant Brannum                  Director Alex Lane                  Director Alaren Hulva                  Director Suzi Steed                  

Julie and Scotch exhibit a professional image of a therapy dog team- compassionate, empathetic, personality plus, and the need to spread the love!