MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Kristen Abbott as Program Director of Pals for Life is bringing pet therapy across the Delaware Valley.
She guides animals as they lend a paw, and lift the spirits of our community members.
The pets will visit people in various locations, such as "elder care homes...mental health hospitals...hospice centers," said Abbott.
While the pets are the ones providing therapy, Abbott is the one working side by side with the animals preparing them to help others.
She does extensive evaluations with the animals and connects with them so they can connect with their patients.
"We want to make sure that the animals are appropriate for pet therapy, but also pet therapy is good for the animal," said Abbott.
She will assess the animals' ability to answer verbal calls to action, their response to loud noises, reactions to walkers or canes, and more.
"The evaluation will see, can they handle different situations because we take them into situations that animals don't usually encounter in their daily life," said Abbott.
Seeing how animals impacted her, she makes it her mission to bring furry friends to those who may not have access to them in their lives.
"We're often bringing the animals in the situations where people are at a very sensitive time in their life," said Abbot.
"Being able to give them a break from whatever challenge they're dealing with that day, I get to see the happiness and the joy, and that's all I ever wanted," she continued.
For more information on Pals for Life, check out their website.