Target: President and CEO of Pet Partners Organization Catherine Magnant
Goal: Don’t suspend therapy dog’s registration because he wears a biker costume.
Chopper is a five-year-old Boston Terrier that travels throughout the West Coast in his motorcycle providing therapeutic company to patients across America. But Chopper was suspended from the non-profit group Pet Partners, which insures therapy dogs, because of the motorcycle outfit he wears on his bike and in therapy. Pet Partners follows the guidelines of International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations and stated that therapy pets are not allowed to wear “costumes for the safety of the clients and the animals.” Tell Pet Partners that Chopper’s clothing is not for entertainment, but is a genuine part of his personality as well as his therapeutic process.
Chopper received a miniature, non-motorized motorcycle when he was three months old and has loved it ever since. He enjoys riding it around and will even visit patients in their room by rolling in on his “hog.” When traveling in the customized side seat of his owner Mark Shaffer’s motorcycle, he is always equipped with a fitted leather vest and specialty protective goggles. These clothing items are made for Chopper’s safety when riding, not as part of an act or entertainment. One volunteer who works with Chopper says that his outfit is crucial to his therapy work, and that it goes a long way to bringing joy and laughter to those in need. Not to mention that Chopper’s outfit does not inhibit his movement or ability, and his goggles are removed when he is one-on-one with patients.
Please stand with us to make sure that Chopper is allowed to keep his custom safety gear while being a registered therapy dog of Pet Partners.
To the President and CEO of Pet Partners Annie Magnant,
I am a strong supporter of therapy animals and the work that they do for ailing patients. I am also a strong supporter of the incredible work that Chopper the therapy dog has done. Unfortunately, Chopper recently lost his registration with your organization because service therapy dogs are not allowed to wear “costumes” on the job. Clearly the rule is made for everyone’s safety, both the dogs and the patients, and I definitely respect and support it. However, the clothing that Chopper wears is not a costume, but actual protective gear for he time he spends on his motorcycle.
Chopper wears a customized leather vest and specialized protective goggles to keep him warm and safe when he rides in the side car of his owner’s motorcycle. He also keeps it on when he rides his own miniature motorcycle in and out of hospitals. Even though it may appear like a thematic gag on the outside, Chopper’s appearance is crucial to his persona and the work he does as a therapy dog. Chopper’s signature outfit is a crucial part of his process, and he has done such a good job with this mission his whole life that he has been personally requested by hospitals and patients all across the West Coast.
Chopper will never stop doing what he loves, cycling and therapy, with or without his membership to Pet Partners. But that insurance and support from a renowned organization could make a world of difference in the opportunities he has and the work that he does. Please reconsider the revocation of Chopper’s support and registration and allow him to rejoin your group.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wenn.com