Activity center

Newport 60+ Activity Center presents Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast | Community

The Newport 60+ Activity Center would like to invite everyone to an upcoming presentation with Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast from 2-3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29. You will learn about their mission to improve human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. Come meet excellent therapy animals and their handlers and learn how you can get involved in this great program.

As anyone who has owned a pet knows, the human-animal bond can be a mutually beneficial relationship on a physical, social, and emotional level. Pet Partners’ mission is to improve human health and well-being through this human-pet bond. It is the leading international organization for training in the benefits of animal-assisted therapy.

Pet Partners teams travel to a wide variety of settings and diverse communities across the country and beyond with recovering patients, people with developmental disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease, students, veterans with PTSD, people who have been through crisis events, and those nearing end of life.

Below are short biographies of the teams that will share the spotlight during this presentation.

Caroline Spark & ​​Rocket, Chair of the Board and TEAM

Caroline Spark is a certified dog behavior consultant, professional dog trainer, and co-owner of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training in Portland. With a doctorate in psychology and a background in counseling, she has 45 years of experience helping people solve problems, achieve learning goals, and make positive changes in their own lives and in the lives of their loved ones. dogs. She has been involved with Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast for many years and is currently Chair of the Board. She also leads a training and support group for animal therapy teams and teams in training.

Lynn Alexanderson and Piper, TEAM

Lynn and Piper have been involved with Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast since 2018. Piper is a 6 year old English Lab who has visited libraries in Toledo, Oregon and Cottonwood Heights, Utah. She loves having children read to her and attend story time.

Lynn says, “I’m a retired clinical social worker, I’ve always had dogs in my life, I like to train dogs and I wanted to get into animal therapy after I retired. »

Katharine Harding & Toby, Vice-Chair of the Board and TEAM IN TRAINING

I, Katharine Harding, first heard of Pet Partners 30 years ago. From 2008 until COVID, I was the manager of 2 registered teams—Karisto & Philia. We have visited patients and staff at the Portland Shriners, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, Lakeview Memory Care and Hospice over these 12 years. When my dog, Toby, passes the assessment and I have raised another puppy for a year, I hope to be able to start offering therapy visits again. I missed my favorite volunteer job for the past 2 years!

Bonnie Rimola & Riley, Executive Director and TEAM

I became a pet therapy team in 2000 in Sacramento, CA when I volunteered at Hospice SOUL (source of unconditional love). In 2011, I was introduced to Pet Partners at Shriner Children’s Hospital and became a registered Pet Partner team to visit children.

In 2016 I retired and moved to Seal Rock, Oregon with my yellow lab Riley. We were introduced to Oregon Coast Therapy Animals – now renamed Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast. Riley and I have been a registered Pet Partners team since 2017. Currently, I am the Executive Director and Team Training Coordinator for Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast.

Barb Le Boss & Magic, Board Member and TEAM IN TRAINING

I, Barb, have been a member of Pet Partners of the Oregon Coast for 23 years. I volunteered with my dog, Buddy, for an afterschool program at Yachats. I was introduced to Caroline Spark, who introduced me and Buddy to a fun interactive training. We became a registered team in 2012. Currently my new dog, Magic, and I are a team in training. I find the human-animal connection to be one of life’s amazing interactions, both joyful and compassionate.

If you would like to attend this presentation and learn more about this exceptional program, go online to: and click on the “Browse catalog and register” banner. For more information, stop by the office at 20 SE 2nd Street, Newport, or call 541-265-9617.