October is Adopt-a-Dog Month!

Robin Ganzert on Pet Life Radio

Every October American Humane Association celebrates Adopt-a-Dog Month, and this year they’re promoting the importance of senior dogs. Robin’s first guest literally wrote the book on older dogs, Laura Coffey, the author of My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts. Later, Robin chats with AHA’s Dr. Amy McCullough about what pets in classrooms can teach kids.


Laura Coffey

Laura T. Coffey is a writer, editor, and producer for TODAY.com, the website of NBC’s TODAY show, and the author of My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts. An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Laura has written and edited hundreds of high-profile human-interest stories. She lives in Seattle.

Dr. Amy McCullough

Ms. McCullough’s responsibilities encompass the development of American Humane Association’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Program nationwide to offer training curricula for handlers and clinicians in specialized settings, such as children’s health-care and military family settings; the development of research and outcome measurements for animal-assisted therapy; and the delivery of high-quality animal-assisted therapy services to national markets.

A licensed Animal-Assisted Therapy Instructor and Evaluator, Ms. McCullough regularly conducts handler trainings and evaluations for American Humane Association. She and her golden retrievers, Bailey and Beckett, have practiced animal-assisted therapy since 2002 in a variety of settings, including child welfare facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health centers and hospices. They currently provide animalassisted therapy sessions at Fisher House, a temporary housing facility for military families who are undergoing health-care treatment.

Ms. McCullough joined American Humane Association in 2007 to manage the day-to-day operations of one of the country’s largest trained animal-handler volunteer workforces of more than 200 teams, ensuring service-delivery excellence to nearly 50 facilities, including child welfare, health-care, education and other settings.

Her most recent speaking engagements on the subject of animal-assisted therapy include the International Society of Anthrozoology Conference and the Eighth Annual International Congress on Animal-Assisted Therapy in Barcelona, Spain.

Ms. McCullough earned a degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota and graduated summa cum laude from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., with a master’s degree in organizational communication. Currently, she is a doctoral student at the University of Denver, working toward a Ph.D. in communication studies. Her area of focus is developing research to demonstrate the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy.

Prior to joining American Humane Association, Ms. McCullough worked as a marketing communications executive at Mercedes-Benz and had several years’ experience at advertising agencies in Chicago and in Charlotte, N.C