The KC Animal Health Corridor and its partners are honored to recognize two not-for-profit organizations in the KC region who work tirelessly to improve the lives of adults and children with disabilities with the 2017 Spirit of Service award. Heartland Therapeutic Riding and Lakemary Ranch provide therapeutic services to the adults and children they serve through animal therapy. 

Heartland Therapeutic Riding (HTR) changes lives, one ride at a time as they serve adults and children with disabilities through equine-assisted activities and therapies. Their four-legged, 1,000 pound “therapists” provide a sense of freedom and mobility to participants that’s rarely experienced elsewhere in their lives. Participants make physical and emotional strides during their sessions at HTR that are taught by instructors who are focused on what they can accomplish, not on their limitations. The results are remarkable!

Lakemary provides an array of services for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.  In our Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility, Lakemary serves children ages 6-21 with developmental disabilities or a diagnosis on the autism spectrum along with a mental health diagnosis. Our children range in functioning levels from nonverbal requiring complete staff support for daily living activities to higher functioning children that struggle with social skills and understanding boundaries. Many of our children have significant trauma and abuse histories. Our children often struggle with emotional regulation and behavioral concerns. Lakemary has begun an ambitious project to develop an animal and garden therapy center on grounds, affectionately known as “The Ranch". A patchwork of themed gardens and animal enclosures radiate from the central barn, which provides year round access. 

The Ranch serves as an avenue for therapy, education and recreation. Trained therapists use Rabbits and Goats in both structured and non-structured play therapy. Our Great Pyrenees dogs are just great to hang out with, while gardening projects encourage exercise and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. We have witnessed animals being used by clients to express their feelings, as calming strategies, and as a way to build positive relationships.




Thank you to our additional Spirit of Service Donors

Thank you to the following organizations, which have contributed financially to the Spirit of Service award.

AgLogica Holdings, Inc
AgriCapital Corporation
Akorn Animal Health
Animal Health Digest
Ark Animal Health
Axxiom Consulting
Bayer Animal Health
Benchmark Animal Health
Bimeda, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
broad Thinking, LLC
CATalyst Council
Ceva Animal Health
Circa Healthcare
Clipper Distributing
Colorado Serum Company
Cornerstone Animal Health
Dechra Veterinary Products
Entry Strategy Consulting, LLC
Expedite Animal Health
First Priority
H&C Animal Health
Henry Schein Animal Health
Hill's Pet Nutrition
Hodson Direct

Horsepower Technologies          Innovation Stockyard
J W Partners
KG MarketSense  
Kindred Biosciences
Kuenzi Family Pet Hospital
Merck Animal Health
Mossberg & Company
MWI Animal Health
Neutricks, LLC
Norbrook, Inc.
Patterson Animal Health
Petplan pet insurance
PRN Pharmacal
The Hartville Group
The VET Recruiter
Veterinary Growth Partners
Vets Plus, Inc
VetStem Biopharma, Inc.
Virbac Corporation

2016 Award Recipient – Dr. Michelle Lem

michellecolorwebMichelle Lem DVM, MSc
Dr. Michelle Lem is a 2001 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), and the founder of Community Veterinary Outreach, a veterinary-based registered charity that has provided pro bono preventive veterinary care for animals of the homeless and marginally housed in Ottawa since 2003. This program has been successfully reproduced in other communities and is demonstrating how veterinary care can be leveraged to engage marginalized pet owners in social services and health care for themselves. Community Veterinary Outreach programs also operate in Hamilton, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo, and Guelph, Ontario CANADA. Learn more


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