Caring K9s Therapy Dogs, Maui exists to improve the quality of life for people on Maui through therapy dog visits (both comfort visits and specific animal-assisted therapy), Reading Education Assistance Dogs® programs for children and animal care education.
HOW WE BEGAN
Caring K9s Therapy Dogs, Maui founder and executive director, Melodie Ulman, first discovered the magic of animal therapy when she volunteered with her rescue dog Shasta in 1999. She saw how a short visit with a therapy dog could make a big difference in someone’s well-being. Melodie knew then she had found her true calling, and became a Licensed Therapy Animal Instructor and Evaluator before moving to Maui in 2012. This, with her background and experience in teaching (both children and adults), counseling, and restaurant management prepared her to successfully create and run Caring K9s Maui. Melodie has built a group of over 25 volunteer teams (dogs and handlers) who offer a variety of therapy dog visits across the island. These visits bring comfort to those in need, offer children and opportunity to learn about animal care, and offer students a “helping paw” to improve their reading skills.
WHAT WE DO
Caring K9s Maui provides training and evaluation procedures for therapy dogs and their handlers and we work to increase public awareness of the benefits of Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). As volunteers, we take our trained and certified family pets to visit many groups of people and facilities, including:
- Hale Makua Skilled Nursing and Day Health, Kahului and Wailuku
- Roselani Place Assisted Living Community, Kahului
- Kalama Heights Independent and Assisted Living Community, Kihei
- Hospice comfort visits at homes, hospice facilities and nursing facilities
- Maui Adult Day Care Centers, Kahului, Ocean View and Kihei
- R.E.A.D.® programs where children are able to read one-on-one with a therapy dog at Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui and Carden Academy
- AAT with several individual students and school programs
- Animal Care Education at Kansha Preschool, presentations at schools and various camps, including Maui Humane Society Camp
- University of Hawaii, Maui Library de-stress visits for students
- Special events on request
Click below to see photos of our stress-relieving therapy dog visits with students at the library on the University of Hawaii Maui Campus. Photos used with permission from UHMC librarian and students.
Click below to see photos of our therapy dog visits at Maui Humane Society Kids Camps, where we educate the kids on how to help care for their family pets. Photos used with permission from MHS.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Lynn Allen
Secretary: Cindy Krach
Treasurer: Dianna Grundhauser
ADDITIONAL BOARD MEMBERS
Caring K9s Maui Trainer, Instructor and Evaluator
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator | Licensed DoE Teacher