Attendance open to anyone with a general interest in animal-assisted therapy

HABIT dog with young reader

An elementary school student reads to a HABIT dog. HABIT animals wear the program's red bandana during animal-assisted therapy visits. Photo courtesy UTIA. Download image.

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. – A free informational meeting for those interested in becoming volunteers with Human Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT), an animal-assisted therapy program, will be held at the Northeast State Community College Monday, July 14, 2014, from 6 - 8 p.m.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for registration. HABIT is a program of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

HABIT is a non-profit group of volunteers working together to promote the bond between people and animals. HABIT sponsors animal-assisted therapy programs for all ages in a variety of settings such as nursing and retirement homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers and area schools.

A HABIT coordinator will explain what she is looking for in dogs, cats and rabbits as potential animal-assisted therapy partners at the volunteer orientation/informational meeting. The meeting will take place in the library, room L106 at the community college which is located at 2425 Highway 75, Blountville, Tennessee, 37617.

For liability purposes, attendance at an informational meeting is required before a person can become a HABIT volunteer and before a facility can partner with HABIT. Attendance does not imply any obligations.  Please do not bring any pets to this meeting.

This meeting is open to anyone with a general interest in animal-assisted therapy. There is no fee or advanced registration required. However, please call the HABIT office 865-974-5633 or email if you plan to attend to ensure enough handouts are available. For further information and directions, contact Ruth Sapp, East Tennessee HABIT Program Coordinator at either or at 865-974-5633. The program’s website is

One of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine educates students in the art and science of veterinary medicine and related biomedical sciences, promotes scientific research and enhances human and animal well-being.

In addition to the programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT AgResearch system of 10 research and education centers and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Ruth Sapp, East Tennessee HABIT Program Coordinator, 865-974-5633,