Who We Are

We are "dog people" with a purpose. We have known intuitively how powerful the relationships between dogs and people can be. When thoroughly cultivated, this connection helps in healing and regaining a balanced perspective, especially after trauma, but also as part of living a happy, healthier life.

We are a dedicated group of caring individuals who have come together to create a charitable nonprofit organization which will build upon our intuitive understanding of how powerful the relationships between people and dogs can be.

Our development has involved consulting with researchers, social work practitioners, animal behavior experts, prospective program partners, and potential clients. What we all have in common is our firm belief in the human-dog connection. We are a registered New York State corporation and IRS 501c3 public charity.

Keri & Rich

Board of Directors
Advisory Council

Our Dogs

Connections Retreat Center cares for dogs in a homelike setting that maintains a clean, comfortable, and quiet environment for them and for us. We evaluate our dogs to assess whether they can participate in our Connections programs with people, and to ensure that dogs not yet ready for that level of activity have opportunities for other services with trained and caring staff.

What We Do

Our programs benefit both the people who visit us and the dogs in our care. We provide temporary and permanent homes for 10 – 50 dogs (at full capacity) in our specially designed home environments that encourage dogs to interact with each other and with people. While some dogs require rehabilitation and must be safely separated from our visitors, other dogs are regulars in our programs for building connections between people and dogs. We welcome and primarily serve three groups of people: veterans, people with special needs, and children with behavioral challenges. All people, however, who can benefit from our programs are welcomed: school and church groups, scout troops, seniors, service clubs, to name a few. We involve researchers in fields related to animal assisted therapy, canine cognition, and canine behavior. We are a resource for research centers as a site for pilot programs, internships, and research studies.

Our Vision

At Connections, We Are Committed to Fostering the Bonds Between People and Dogs By:

  • Improving overall health and well-being through interactions between people and dogs
  • Ensuring the safety and comfort of all people and dogs in our care
  • Teaching responsibility and caring skills for disadvantaged young people
  • Healing and recovery from trauma
  • Strengthening communication and relational abilities for those with special needs
  • Making more dogs adoptable for loving homes by honing their relationship skills with people
  • Providing the best quality lifelong care for dogs who need it
  • Translating research on dog-human relationships into beneficial programs at the Connections Retreat Center for People & Dogs