History of Love On 4 Paws

In 1990, Sharlene Lauretz began taking her dogs to visit a special education facility where her autistic, developmentally delayed daughter was enrolled. Sharlene was amazed that so many children, who often seemed unaware of the surroundings, responded to the dogs. Seeing that interacting with the dogs was clearly helping the children focus and concentrate, Sharlene recruited other people and their dogs to participate in Animal Assisted Therapy sessions.

By 1997 the group had grown enough to require a formal structure. Sharlene organized the group and created Love On 4 Paws, Inc., a California Non-Profit Corporation. More and more volunteers joined, and the list of hospitals and facilities continued to expand. By 2007 there were nearly 100 volunteers, and a website/online management system was created to handle visit scheduling and health clearance tracking.

In the following years, management focused on recruiting only the best teams, assuring the highest visit standards, and serving premier facilities. Evaluations, coaching, supply functions, facility interface, financial dealings, and administration were all handled by a core group of exceptionally dedicated volunteers.

By 2015, Love On 4 Paws had grown sufficiently complex that our first formal staff position was created. The goal is to assure than Love On 4 Paws will continue to operate far into the future