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Equine Therapy, Pet Care Resources & Service Dogs

Photo of “Timber” (far right) & running Golden Retriever by Louis Matteau, U.S. Army Retired

Horse by Willowbend Farm ~ See "Herd 2 Human” below

What does a service dog look like? (Information provided by Dog Tag Buddies)

A service dog:

  • Is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

  • Must be well-trained, well-behaved in public, and under control at all times.

  • Must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the animal’s work.

  • Cannot display any aggressive or guarding behavior.

  • Must cease sniffing behaviors unless released to do so.

  • Must ignore solicitations for food or affection.

What a Business Can and Cannot Ask

When it is obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions:

  •  Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

  •  What work or task is the dog trained to perform?

Staff CANNOT ask:

  • about the person’s disability

  • require medical documentation

  • require a special identification card

  • ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task

Under the ADA, businesses and organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. A PERSON WITH A DISBAILITY CANNOT BE ASKED TO REMOVE THE SERIVCE DOG FROM THE PREMISES UNLESS:

  • 1. The dog is out of control and the dog’s owner does not take effective action to control it.

  • 2. The dog is not housebroken.

Animal Human Connection

Our mission is to offer products and programs  that enhance the bond between pets and their people. We also blog about life lessons learned from our pets. Check it out, always something new going on.

Artichoke Press:

Judy is a certified Pet Grief Coach who takes pride in her work with Animal Human Connection. She has written extensively on the topic of grieving and offers guidance, counseling, and communal sharing for many grief clients.

Death of My Pet:

As good pet partners, we go through intense grief and sorrow when it is time to release a beloved pet.  Many clients have told us that they grieved more at the death of their pet than for human family members.  The sorrow is real and the grieving journey is difficult.  Often, the grief process can be even more strenuous because friends and coworkers may consider your loss “just a dog.” Others may simply not understand your sorrow, but it is real and important to you. We understand your pain and want to offer you a “safe soft spot to land” as fellow animal lovers. You don’t need to face pet loss alone. Judy Helm Wright is an intuitive wise woman and a certified Pet Grief Coach that can help you through your grieving process.

Contact: Judy Helm Wright (Spouse of Veteran), Author / Blogger / Intuitive Wise Woman, (406) 549-9813,

Aspen Trail Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Services ~ Victor:

Therapeutic Horsemanship for Veterans and people with special physical / social / emotional needs. Questions: Dave (USAF Veteran) +1 661-319-5056,

Braach Shepherds 4 Veterans:

Offering Obedience, PTSD and Service Dog Training. Donations (Veterinary costs, food, and training) ~ Your contribution is tax deductible: 1205 Marshall Creek Rd., Philipsburg, MT 59858 "Montana Non-Profit Supporting Veterans with PTSD Wins National AARP Create the Good Contest":; Questions: Mike and Pamela Braach (406) 560-9979,

Canine Companions for Independence:

With the increase in military veterans returning with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in 2018 Canine Companions launched a pilot program to directly place service dogs with veterans with PTSD.

Montana Contact: Chelsey Darrow, Veteran Programs Specialist, Canine Companions for Independence, (406) 599-3582,

OR Kristian (Service Dog "Scout") - Vice Commander, American Legion District 6 of Montana 406-595-6218,

Dogs on Deployment ~ Montana:

We believe in providing vital assistance to military pet owners while they serve our country with honor, courage and commitment. "For the common love of dog and country; Support your troops by boarding their pets!" (Jennifer moved back to WI, so new MT contact pending)

Dog Tag Buddies ~ Statewide:

P.O. Box 250, Shepherd, MT 59079

We have trainers available across the state so veterans will not have to travel more than a couple of hours to participate in weekly training. Dog Tag Buddies partners veterans suffering from hidden injuries (PTSD, TBI, MST) with rescue dogs. Our program gives both the veteran and the dog a chance to lead a more fulfilling life. Services are at NO cost to the veteran.

DeeDe Baker, Founder of Dog Tag Buddies was named one of 20 “Exceptional Women” (2017) for Connecting Dog Rescue and Veterans Mental Health. Story (Billings):

Contact: (406) 690-9853,

DeeDe Baker, IACP DTFC - Executive Director O: 406-969-1227 | M: 406-690-9853,

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DogWatch of Montana (MT & NW WY):

Providing safe, secure, electronic hidden dog fences, pet containment systems, and pet friendly training products.

Contact: Ed Johnson, 50 Arrow Trail, Bozeman (406) 548-1599,

​Elaina's Creature Care ~ Missoula

​*** “Willing to help out Veterans and seniors in need of pet care at a minimal expense” ***

Mobile animal care services for Missoula County and surrounding areas. 25 years’ of experience with animal care (cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, fish, special needs pets: diabetes, dietary sensitivity, kidney failure, cancer, incontinence, etc. References / Licensed / Insured / Bonded. Health and Beauty Packages Available. Behavior modification, grooming (nails, ears), walking, health maintenance, consultation, and pre and post-operative care including transportation to and from veterinarian. 6321 Buena Vista Loop W., Missoula

Contact: Elaina M. Berglin, Owner (406)-728-4179 (Text, email, or call)

Greg Eliel Horsemanship:

Veterans Overwatch:

Greg Elielis a master horse trainer with over 40 years of experience teaching people horsemanship in Wisdom, MT Questions:

HERD 2 HUMAN @ Willowbend Farm, Inc.:

FREE for Veterans & First Responders ~ 13400 Turah Rd., Clinton 

EQUINE inter-species communication program to assist with trauma recovery and general wellness (emphasis on inter-species communication rather than “therapy”). The horses are not assigned but rather intuitively chose the student. If you cannot commit to the 6-week program (one night per week), they also have a 3-day “Intensive Program”. H2H has expanded to Kalispell w/hopes of going statewide.

Herd 2 Human - YouTube:

*** INTERESTED in becoming a Herd 2 Human Instructor? The training program is VA certified (Veterans can use their GI Bill to cover expenses).

Please watch calendar on website:


Email application to Jeff or mail to Willowbend Farm, 13400 Turah Rd., Clinton, MT 59825

Questions: Jeff & Darlene Patterson, Willowbend Farm, Inc., Jeff’s Cell (406) 240-8598,; Darlene’s Cell (406) 241-1382,

In Kalispell @ Valor Equine,

In Billings @ M2B Ranch,

Heroes and Horses ~ Manhatten:

Montana-based nonprofit organization that has created an innovative, three-phase reintegration program, which is offered to qualifying combat veterans (at no cost to them) suffering from PTSD. Our program utilizes the remote wilderness of Montana, coupled with human and horse connections, to challenge and inspire personal growth in veterans suffering from mental and physical scars. 2023 Grant Award:

Contact: 125 S. Broadway, Unit 3, Manhattan, MT (406) 284-2870,

K9 Care of Montana (Livingston), Montana K9 Safety (Bigfork), and Montana Made K9 (Helena & Dillon):

At K9 Care Montana, we are devoted to providing the highest quality Service Dogs at no cost to our nations wounded veterans and children challenged by autism.

*** Montana K9 Safety:

Providing training for Pet First Aid; CPR; Vitals Assessment; Muzzling; Restraints & Carries; K9 First Aid Kits; Choking; Bleeding Control; Bandaging; Shock / Seizures; Poisoning; Injured Pet Transport; Disaster Response; Environmental; Emergencies and more.

*** Montana Made K9: ~ We now have 2 locations in MT: Helena and Dillon “Best of the Best German Shepherd and Service Dogs” We offer AKC Training, Testing, and ask about out program to Co-Own a Dog with Montana Made K9: (406) 560-3985,

Questions: David Riggs, Founder & CEO of K9 Care of Montana, P.O. Box 490, Livingston, MT 59047

Montana K9 SAFETY: Garry Forman - Director, P.O. Box 1454, Bigfork, MT 59911, (406) 885-0437,

OR Racheal Vargas - Executive Director,

Leashes of Valor:
Once a Warrior and dog have been matched, their first step together on this journey is a 16-day in-house training program on our farm in Virginia. During this time, they will receive 120 hours of hands-on training with professional canine and warrior trainers. They will also participate in practical and theoretical seminars and receive basic service dog equipment, veterinary care, meals and housing at no cost.

2021 "Veterans Be Real" Podcast:

Questions: Danique, US Navy Veteran and Founder (804) 633-1010,

Pearl Ranch, LLC ~ 2305 Duncan Dr, Missoula:

Equine Assisted Mental Health Program. Horses assist in counseling sessions (with a mental health provider) and experiential learning. Margot has been doing equine therapy, growth, and learning for 10 years and is set to expand!

Questions: Margot Luckman, MS, CRC, LCPC, ES, CM/F (406) 542-0820, 

Pet Partners:

Improve Veterans’ quality of life and social engagement by increasing access to animal-assisted interventions, including animal-assisted therapy, throughout the VA health care system.

12/2022 VHA News, "The Veteran Health Administration’s (VHA) National Center for Health Advancement and Partnerships (HAP) partners with Pet Partners to bring Veteran patients the benefits of the HAB. Pet Partners’ trained volunteer handlers and therapy animals connect with Veterans across the country to help reduce stress symptoms and increase feelings of social support"

Questions: (425) 679-5500,

Scentinel K9 & Karosel Kennels ~ Frenchtown:

Canine Detection Services and Pet Training owned by US Army Veteran, Jae!

Questions: Jae (406) 552-9158,

Street Dog Coalition:

Our Missoula team is offering free medical care for pets of people experiencing homelessness in and around Missoula (pop-up clinics at the Poverello Center / second Fridays 9am-11am). Vaccinations, de-worming, parasite treatment, etc. (All dogs should be on leashes and cats in carriers).

Questions: (970) 829-8789,

Valor Equine Therapy Service, Inc. (VETS) ~ Columbia Falls:

To provide a resource for the ever-growing demand for professional assistance in mitigating the damaging effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered by military veterans, law enforcers, firefighters and EMT responders.  Equine Therapeutic Programs (ETPs) are supervised by professional equestrian instructors who teach wounded veterans and first responders how to interact, react, and care for a horse.

VETS, Inc. on YouTube:

83 Clydesdale Lane, Columbia Falls, MT 59912

Questions: Lynn, (406) 212-5486,

Veterans & Horses ~ Daniel’s Ranch in the Big Hole Valley, Wisdom

Introducing Veterans to how a horse thinks and how you can master the art of working with horses. Veterans work on the ground with several horses to build build trust and confidence. Daniel’s Ranch is located about 10 miles north of Wisdom, MT on Highway 43. Housing and meals are provided on the ranch. Greg Eliel is the horse trainer and event leader. Greg has 40 years of experience teaching people horsemanship, and 10 years of working with Veterans and horses. Call to find out when the next weekend is planned for in the Big Hole Valley. Sponsored by the Big Hole Valley Association, a non-profit located in Wisdom and Jackson MT.

Contact: Dennis Havig, (406) 660-3800,

Wind River Canine Partners, LLC:

We are a one-of-a-kind Dog Training, Boarding, and Daycare facility nestled on 150 acres in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley near Florence, MT. We offer training programs for pet dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, and behavioral rehabilitation as well as offering one of the only Off-Leash reliability programs in the state! 2/2020 Montana Vocational Rehabilitation, “Ally has done trainings for Disability Rights and for Voc Rehab. Really knowledgeable and lots of great experience.”

Contact: 5353 E. Carlton Creek Rd., Florence (406) 273-4899,

Wings Programs ~ Corvallis:

501c3 Nonprofit dedicated to various equine welfare programs.

Questions: (406) 363-3346,


Animals: Equine, Service Dogs & Pet Care: Welcome
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