KPETS - Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services
KPETS - Keynotes Newsletter
March 2014
Celebrating 11 Years of 
Touching Lives and Warming Hearts

Upcoming Events 
March 15

April 29 & April 30

Important Links

First Aid for Pets

We  will be holding an interactive workshop for all dog and cat lovers who want to be prepared in case of a medical emergency.  

When:   March 29, 2014 from 9:00 am to noon

Where:  Blair Room, 630 Janet Avenue, Lancaster PA 

The expert presenter for this workshop is Dr. Nan Hanshaw, DVM.


 Reserve your seat by mailing payment to KPETS, 630 Janet Avenue, Lancaster, PA along with your contact information.


Meet Our Sponsors for March
Rent Sponsor for the Year
Internet Sponsor for Four months:
Printer Sponsor:

Please consider filling any of the open spots on our Resource Page. Click here to go to our Resource Sponsor Page.


Do ALL your on-line shopping through 
 When you first sign in, be sure to choose KPETS and a portion of all your purchases will support KPETS. Thank you!
(You can still use the link on the Support Tab of our website too!)

 Round Table Update
   We had a wonderful response to our inquiry about setting up "Round Table groups."  We already have 2 very successful groups - 
  • York led by Harriet Hombach and 
  • Maryland led by Laurie Walters.  

And we are well on the way for the following areas:  

  • Lebanon area coordinated by Lauren Krall 
  • Berks County contact is Barb Emmett
  • Lancaster is Trish Hess 
  • Way up north, Angie Bixler is willing to coordinate  
If you are interested in joining one of these groups please email us at

KPETS - Team pictures needed!

KPETS needs your help! We are putting together a slideshow to be used at events. We need pictures of dogs and handlers doing what they love!

We also want to post some of these on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. It is another way to promote KPETS and pet therapy.


Every Tuesday, starting in April, will be Teams in Action Tuesdays! We will post a picture of a team with a brief description of who they are and what they do.


Guidelines -

1. Be sure to let us know who, what, when, and where

2. A Photo Authorization Form of identifiable non-KPETS people must be sent to the KPETS' office.  


Send your pictures to


By sharing what we do and how much we love doing it we expose more people to KPETS and the wonders of the animal/human bond. Plus, we get to show off beloved teammates and put them in the spotlight!

So be creative and send lots of pictures. Take pictures of your fellow teams and have fun!!


 Volunteer Recognition 
    Thank you volunteers for all that you do...visits, staffing info booths, presentations, and so much more. You are KPETS!  


                   In The Spotlight:  Laurie Walters
Laurie was selected as Volunteer of the Month at Carroll Hospital. (See the article below.)  The Carroll Hospital Center partnership was initiated by Lorain Land. When Lorian moved to VA, Laurie was able to step in and pick up the charge. This has been rewarding for all concerned.  KPETS currently has seven teams who have participated in the daylong CHC orientation and who are cleared to make regular visits in the hospital. Patients, staff and visitors have enjoyed the love given by our pups.  The administration was so impressed with the positive impact of our visits  that they were asked to help with a very stressful system wide software roll-out in February.  Extra teams were brought on board and dogs could be found throughout the facility during all hours of the day and night during this two week transition. The KPETS' teams continue to visit regularly in the various lobbies and waiting rooms as well as with patients upon request.
Wendi Mitzel is the lead person for the State's Attorney's office.  There are currently three handlers (with five dogs) who are on the call list.  Several more teams will be coming on board in the near future.  Due to the sensitive nature of these visits teams must have prior documented successful experiences working with children.  When called, teams work with children, who need to testify, providing emotional support and stress reduction.  Laurie has visited in the past with her Chinese Crested Powder Puff, Dizzy, and hopes to be able to use Puck, her English Springer Spaniel as soon as he has accrued enough time with children.
Laurie also coordinates visits for Carroll Lutheran Village (in Westminster).  As of this time they have two groups of teams who each visit once a month- one going to the assisted living facility (Diven House) and the other going to the health care center.  They have also been called in for special occasions.
Another place that she and Puck visit on a monthly schedule is Locust House, a senior living apartment building.
Our Maryland teams are growing in number and are able to provide many services in and around Carroll County.  Laurie helps to schedule and organize regular "Round-table" meetings where they are able to  network and provide support for one another.
As a member of Carroll Kennel Club she has been given the opportunity to lead the Therapy Dog Training classes for the past several sessions. These classes provide support for people who are interested in preparing themselves, and their dogs, for work as a therapy team.
We thank Laurie for her dedication to KPETS, and we can understand why the hospital selected her as Volunteer of the Month! THANK YOU for all that you do!

Walters Award
Laurie and her partner Puck.
      Walters selected as Volunteer of the Month
   Laurie Walters was selected as Carroll Hospital Center's February Volunteer of the Month. A KPETS' volunteer at Carroll Hospital Center since 2013, Walters was chosen for her outstanding work with the hospital's Pet Therapy Program.

   Click here for the article from the Carroll County Times

  Texas Roadhouse Sponsors KPETS

A big thank you to Jeff and Chrissy Krackow owners of the Lancaster Texas Roadhouse who sponsored KPETS at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook off February 15th at Warwick High School. They provided gallons of delicious chili for the contest and, with their family and friends, worked at our booth all day!!!  Thank you!  
 Thank You York Galleria Teams!!  
These volunteers sold more than 180 books which earns KPETS over $1100.00!!!
Pat Leonard and Cameo
Nancy Dixon and Jill
Susan Hamberger and Max
Pam Miller and Shiloh
Tom Miller and Sadie
Rose Morley and Katieann
Shari Kim and Leo
Christina Green and Bella
Wendy Norris and Ruby
MaryAnn Beaverson and Imari
Linda Rhomberg and Zackery
Fran and Okra
Thank you Harriet Hombach (and Mattoon, Rubin and Corky) for coordinating this event!!

A Thank You Note to KPETS Hospice Volunteers

I just wanted to thank you and your organization for the wonderful team of pet therapists and pets you are training.  
     I work for Caring Hospice as the Volunteer Coordinator.  I requested assistance from you for our patients.  Nothing can brighten up the day for someone who isn't feeling well, as a visit from the friendly pets and their owners. 
     When I requested volunteers willing to go out into the Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin and York areas I got many responses.  These new volunteers for us have been angels in disguise.  Several of the volunteers go weekly to visit a patient. These relationships have become very important to our patients. The commitment and dedication of the volunteers has been inspiring to me as well as to our team at Hospice.  It has been so touching to see how the volunteers and their pets connect with our patients.  They have become part of the patients family.  I can't thank you enough for your organization and the people who are a part of KPETS. They bring joy to so many lives.
     We are always in need of another volunteer.  At this time I'm looking for someone that would be willing to visit in the Lancaster area. If you know of anyone please let me know.

Denise Almond
Social Worker/Volunteer Coordinator
Caring Hospice of Central Pa.

Thank You Bon-TonTeams 

The Bon Ton Community Days Event at Park City Mall is over, and we sold a total of 140 booklets!  We would like to thank the following volunteers for that success!!!


Debbie Hess and Sadie

Karen with Max and Marjan with Amber at Bon Ton

Renie Titus with Brady

Jan Faust and Nellie

Missy Krall and Chance

Heather and Romeo

Lauren Krall and Nadia

Brenda Stauffer with Joey

Joni Soost with Gillian & Annie

Nancy Houston and Gilly

Judy Bechtel and her daughters Madison and Macy

Karen Gerth and Max

A big THANK YOU to Marjan van Schaik for coordinating this event again!!
Helping People Find Their Way Back Home 

   I joined KPETS (Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services) to help make a difference in 
people's lives and to bring joy to them through my dogs, Chloe and Echo.  What I was not prepared for was how I would become so profoundly affected by some of those people and how losing them would have such an impact on not only my life, but that of my dogs' lives as well.

A thank you to the teams who assisted psychology students at Widener University in Chester, PA who are conducting a senior research project on the benefits and positive impact dogs have on student stress level. The study is ongoing and the results are still to come.  
  • Robin Langerhans
  • Sue Downing
  • Valerie Keiser
  • Nancy Houston
  • Bill Rodstein
  • Karen Gerth
We would also like to thank those volunteers who were willing to help but unable due to schedule conflicts.
Robin Langerhans with Odin
Valerie Keiser with Eddie

 York College Basketball Fun!!
 Imari ( MaryAnn Beaverson's dog)hugging the mascot at
  York College  women's basketball game on Janurary 25, 2014.
                                               Pet insurance, a wise investment? 
               by Angela Gorman  Karen's boys
    We have health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, car insurance, homeowner's insurance-but what about pet insurance?  Is pet insurance a wise investment or just another monthly expense that, when needed, really wouldn't provide much assistance anyway?
       Salt Lake City Airport brings animal-assisted therapy to passengers -  
   Salt Lake City International Airport has collaborated with Therapy Animals of Utah to bring registered therapy dogs to visit passengers at the airport.  
               Click here to read more.
          One Vaccine Can Change Your Dog's Life Forever
Every day, we hear about dogs whose lives have been forever changed by vaccination and this is why we work hard to educate pet owners on vaccine dangers. Every single vaccine has the ability to cause illness and even death, so it's critical that no unnecessary vaccine is ever given to a dog. 
            Click here to read the article
                                    Visit Requests
There are so many open requests and we need our teams  to fill them. 
Here's where you can find them... 
1.  Weekly Request Update email every Wednesday
  • On, scroll over "Konnect w/KPETS" menu
  • Click on the Konnecting Page and 
  • Type in your email address and click "FOLLOW"

Do you have...                                                       

* a story about a recent or memorable KPETS visit 

* a photo

* a fabulous treat or toy that your KPETS partner loves 

* a great pet related book you'd like to recommend 
* a memorial to a beloved KPETS partner who has recently passed 


If you have something you'd like to share with our Newsletter readers, please send details and any photos to us at
Heather Meaney with Romeo at the Strasburg Railroad
 Read Across America Event
kappy and sponge bob
Joann Kline's Kappy meets Sponge Bob at Warwick HS

Info for New Volunteers and VIP's (Volunteers in Process)
* Space may be limited. Registration Required / Dates subject to change!
Upcoming Orientations:  Click here to register.
* York - Saturday, March 22, 2014 - date changed due to the St. Patrick's Day parade in York. (3rd Sat of odd months) @ 9 am

* Lancaster - Saturday, April 12 (2nd Sat of even months) @ 9 am

* Westminster, MD - April 7 & Aug 18 @ 7 pm

* Hanover - March 12 & Sept 24 @ 7 pm


Workshops: Click here to register.


* Lancaster - 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month @ 6:30 pm 

* Mohnton - Saturday, March 22, 9:30 am 

* York - 1st Monday of every month @ 6:00 pm 

* Hanover - Weds, March 19 & October 1 @ 7 pm

* Westminster, MD - Mons, April 14 & August 25 & 7 pm


* Therapy Dog Training Classes: York, Lancaster and Westminster
  Click here for more info(optional class offered for those who would like additional guidance)  

Thank you all for making KPETS what it is and taking us to where we are today!

Let's continue Touching Lives * Warming Hearts in our local communities! ! !


Karen Gerth
KPETS - Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services