About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

Some dogs can help humans heal.
Our mission is to teach them how.

Specifically, we train and certify…

  • Volunteers – who want to team up with their dog to help people in need at hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities.
  • Professionals – health workers, educators and others who want to work with their dog to enhance a professional practice.

National Leadership

Good Dog training and deploying methods are the safest, most innovative in the nation.

We respect and celebrate the healing power of the Human-Animal Bond.

  • We specialize in hands-on, in-class training for dog-human teams, supporting team progress as you learn.
  • We are advised by experts in immunology, infectious disease, psychology, veterinary medicine, and Animal Assisted Intervention.
  • We conduct research with major hospitals / universities to advance therapy dog uses and outcomes.

Training Options

Volunteer Certification

Classes for you and your dog to learn, alongside others, to safely help adults and children in need. (4 weekly 90-minute classes)
Find out more.

Crisis Response Certification

Once certified, select volunteers and dogs can learn to assist in national disasters. (Weekend training)
Find out more.

Professional Certification

Educators, therapists, etc. learn to work with their dog in professional practice. NYC Dept. of Education is a client. (3 weekly 2-hour classes)
Find out more.

Prep School On Zoom

Sharpen your ability to “read” a dog’s body language; learn requirements for therapy dog certification; and more. (4 weekly 1-hour online classes)
Find out more.

Insurance — Good Dog Certified Volunteers are covered by free liability insurance when donating time to our partner facilities. Certified Professionals have their own insurance as part of their practice.

We welcome an application from you and your dog.

Covid-19 Update

To ensure safety, we partnered with hospitals and experts in immunology/infectious disease. We redefined protocols to meet the challenges of an ongoing pandemic. All Volunteers visiting Good Dog Partner Facilities or enrolled in our in-person classes must:

  • Be fully vaccinated + have FDA-advised boosters (as eligible)
  • Wear proper face masks + use hand sanitizer
We will occasionally pause in-person therapy dog visits and classes if / when the pandemic flares up, and as we deem appropriate to protect our volunteers, trainers and those they serve. We will revisit these protocols to stay current with evolving pandemic and related science.

For more, see Guidelines During A Pandemic.

Who We Help

Facility Partners

The organizations (below) can apply to be a partner facility entitled to free visits from our Therapy Dog Volunteers. The visits help adults and children recover from stress, trauma and disease or cope with disabilities and learning issues.

  • Hospitals, Hospices
  • Public Schools, Colleges
  • Nursing Homes, Senior Residences
  • Libraries, Community Centers

To apply, click here.

Corporate Partners

We offer therapy dog services for a fee to business, government and other private entities.

For a quote, contact
info@thegooddogfoundation.org

Recent Corporate Partnerships

Communities in Crisis

Good Dog Crisis Response Teams respond to select national and local disasters when invited and as funding permits.
For more information, contact
info@thegooddogfoundation.org

Our Research

Good Dog conducts vital research to assess therapy dog intervention with specific populations and environments.

Supporting Cancer Patients in Treatment

Teaching Prisoners Parenting Skills

Helping Children Recover from Stress

National Survey of Therapy Dog Training

Help Us

Some 30,000 hours a year are donated by Good Dog Volunteers helping people heal. Over 100,000 people benefit annually.

Staff & Consultants

Rachel McPherson

President & Founder

Bruce Fagin

Executive Vice President

Renee Payne

Director of Training

Carly Goteiner

Director of Community Engagement

William “Bill” Ross

Director of Finance & Administration

Sarah Ruminski

Onboarding Operations Coordinator

Heidi Antman

Graphic Design Consultant

Stetson Greave

Photography and Videography Consultant

Stuart Gaston

Database Optimization Consultant

Tara Johnson

Online Marketing and Social Media Consultant

Board of Directors

Robert Reder

Chair
Retired Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School

Patrick W. McMullan lll

Vice Chair
Managing Director and Chairman of Global Healthcare Investment Banking, Barclays Capital

Rachel McPherson

President & Founder

Christina de Marval

Principal, Huntting, LLC

Clayton Eck

Corporate Strategy, PepsiCo

Patrick Gordon

Principal, Technology, Information, Communication, Entertainment/Media, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers Advisory LLC

Samantha Greenberg

Senior Manager, Strategy, Veterinary Emergency Group

Tao Bu Kinsey

Managing Director, Investor Relations & Business Development, The Blackstone Group, Blackstone Credit (BXC)

Ellen Leikind

Creator, PokerDivas

Karen Simonenko

Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Healthcare

Alex Stromberg

Managing Director in Credit Trading, Barclays Capital

Joseph Tawney

Manager, Global Safety Operations, Uber

Glenn Troost

Attorney-at-law, Glenn M. Troost, Esq.

Megan Newhouse

Senior Director, Corporate Communications, GE

Adam Wexler

Director, Working Capital Origination, Mizuho Bank, Global Transaction Banking

Michele Krieger

CFO/CCO/COO, BeaconLight Capital

Scientific Advisors

Bradley W. Brockmann– J.D., M.Div. – Assistant Professor of the Practice, Health Services, Policy and Practice, Brown University; Member, Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity

Dr. James Fagin– Featured Covid-19 Panelist, WAMC Public Radio; Former Chief of General Pediatrics at North Shore Univ. Hospital; Fellow, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Stewart Fleishman– Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine; Founding Director, Cancer Supportive Services, Continuum Cancer Centers of New York; Accreditation Surveyor, American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer.

Dr. James Griffin– National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH; Director of the Early Learning and School Readiness Program.

Dr. Alexandra Horowitz– Columbia University Author of #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. She teaches psychology, canine cognition, and creative nonfiction writing at Barnard College, where she runs the Dog Cognition Lab.

Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello– Interim Associate Dean for Research and Schmidt Distinguished Professor, Faculty Fellow, Florida Atlantic University; Director, Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.); Former President, International International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ).

Dr. Deborah Lawrence– Fordham University Supervising Psychologist and Group Therapy Program Coordinator, Rose Hill Campus, Fordham University; PhD in psychology and re- specialization in clinical Psychology, Columbia University.

Dr. James Serpell– University of Pennsylvania ISAZ Board Director; Professor of Ethics & Animal Welfare and Director, Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.