SD Gunner Fund trains and provides Therapy Dogs for facility and educational usage! 

SD Gunner Fund trains and provides Therapy Dogs for facility and educational usage!  We currently provide therapy dogs to Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy, The Speech Path; Now We’re Talking Therapy Services, the Children’s Museum of Pooler, and our team in Effingham at the ECSD PUP Program.  We are excited to announce that we will soon have therapy dogs at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Where Are Our Therapy Dogs?


Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy LLC


The Speech Path


Now We’re Talking Therapy Services


Children's Museum of Pooler


ECSD PUP Program


Savannah/Hilton Head Intl. Airport

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), also known as Canine-assisted therapy, uses dogs to promote health and healing. Like other animals, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental, making them ideal therapy companions. Since the mid-1970s, this therapy has been offered in therapeutic boarding schools, special needs programs, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and mental health facilities. It is effective for children, adolescents, and adults. A variety of people can benefit from canine therapy, including those with autism, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and substance abuse. Because of its hands-on approach, canine therapy helps children and teens with difficulty focusing. 

The above definitions are as the organization Animal Assisted Intervention International describes these services. 

What exactly is a Therapy Dog?

Therapy dogs receive training but have a completely different type of job from service dogs. Therapy dogs' responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers. In contrast, service dogs are trained to perform tasks and to do work that eases their handlers' disabilities. These dogs have stable temperaments and friendly, easy-going personalities. Typically, they visit hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes, and more. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with various people while on duty, including petting the therapy dog.

Therapy dogs may also visit schools, daycares, group homes, and rehabilitation centers. Their roles vary from dogs who give learning-disabled children the confidence to read out loud to actively participating in physical rehabilitation therapy. Sometimes, a therapy dog will work in an establishment exclusively, such as a psychotherapy practice.

*Information obtained from

2022 Therapy Dog Assistance Stats

153,692 individuals, mainly children

18,000 of those were in SC the rest were in Georgia

15,882 of those were in the school system

85,441 of those were in pediatric medical facilities 


SD Ollie & Mrs. Dolan’s Classroom at Carver Elementary School

Statement from Mrs. Laura Dolan:
Last year, the S.D. Gunner Fund worked in my classroom for the last three months of school. I teach 4th and 5th-grade special education for students with moderate to severe disabilities. I was skeptical and, most importantly, apprehensive about how Ollie, the standard poodle, would fit into our day-to-day schedule. But, the instant he walked into our lives, I saw an immediate change in the climate of my classroom and within each child in my room. Every single student began forming an immediate bond with Ollie. He provided a different kind of support to each student, and it was apparent that he was in tune with each of their specific needs. Bonding, socializing, and caring for Ollie are social activities that helped each of the children in their development and increased their overall abilities to interact with others. It was the biggest blessing to be able to work with Britnee and Ollie, and I am forever grateful for the time that was spent in my classroom. The SD Gunner Fund is an unparalleled organization. Exceptional people working to create exceptional service dogs, which in turn are helping to change lives EVERY SINGLE DAY.