Intermountain Therapy Animals


Enhancing quality of life through the human-animal bond.


Pets Helping People


Intermountain Therapy Animals is a non-profit organization bringing animal resources to human needs. We specialize in providing safe, enjoyable visits to people of all ages in a variety of facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living homes. Our pets are qualified to assist health care professionals and their patients or clients meet therapeutic goals in a variety of settings.

RE.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs®)


Improving the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors.


The R.E.A.D.® program improves children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to an animal. But not just any animal. R.E.A.D.® companions are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries, and other settings as reading companions for children.

R.E.A.D.® is the first and foremost program that utilizes therapy animals to help kids improve their reading and communication skills and also teaches them to love books and reading. It has been growing around the world since November 1999 when ITA launched it in Salt Lake City. More than 3,500 therapy teams have trained and registered with the program and are going strong! 

Today, thousands of registered R.E.A.D.® teams work throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, South Africa, Slovenia, Spain, and beyond. R.E.A.D.® is one of those ideas that, in the words of Bill Moyers, "pierces the mundane to arrive at the marvelous."

The Helena Chapter of Intermountain Therapy Animals

was founded in 2014 by Adele Delp and CJ Puotinen. Its registered pet/handler teams visit thtree hospitals, two assisted living homes, a retirement home, and five schools in the Helena Valley. As the program grows, new facilities will be added to the schedule.

Adele.Adele Delp is the Helena Chapter’s ITA Evaluator and pet training workshop instructor. She has been training dogs and their handlers for over 25 years in obedience, rally, agility, herding, and therapy work. In addition to being a veterinary technician, Adele is certified in canine massage and practices Jin Shin Jyutsu (a Japanese acupressure technique) for animals.  She is a Canine Good Citizen/Star Puppy evaluator for the American Kennel Club, a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and a C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills) evaluator.



CJ. CJ Puotinen is the Helena Chapter’s ITA Training Instructor and R.E.A.D. Training Instructor. In 1994 she helped found the Hudson Valley Visiting Pet Program in New York. With her Labrador Retrievers Samantha and Chloe, CJ has made over 900 therapy visits to all types of facilities and has been an Animal Assisted Therapy training instructor since 2003. CJ is the author of several books and magazine articles about holistic pet care and positive training methods



Our Philosophy

Pet therapy is such a popular activity that thousands of volunteers participate in hundreds of programs, but none of them match Intermountain Therapy Animals’ professional standards, training, and handler support. We chose Intermountain Therapy Animals because of its attention to the details that make pet visits safe for everyone involved – including clients, family members, facility staff, pets, and pet handlers – as well as enjoyable and effective.

To Contact Us

Email Adele or CJ.
Phone CJ at 914-523-3063 or Adele at 406-439-0373
Mail us at PO Box 5714, Helena MT 59604

To contact the Salt Lake City headquarters of Intermountain Therapy Animals,
Email Intermountain Therapy Animals
Phone 801-272-3439, Fax 801-272-3470

Send mail to ITA, 4050 South 2700 East, Salt Lake City UT 84124


We would like to thank our Corporate Sponsors for their continued support.


Charlotte Snyder, Most Wanted Advertising

Most Wanted Advertising, Inc.

Jon Miller, State Farm

State Farm