About Us

The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to training, evaluating and qualifying people and their well-behaved dogs as therapy dog teams. Founded in 1999 and authorized in all 50 states, Bright & Beautiful has certified more than 14,000 members and dogs.

Our therapy dog teams provide unconditional love, offer friendship, boost self-esteem, provide solace and relieve loneliness and boredom for children, adults, and senior citizens in a wide variety of circumstances.

Types of facilities where pet therapists work:
Pet therapists are in great demand, and there is a growing need for therapy dogs. B&BTD teams work in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, schools, libraries, courthouses, universities, and other types of facilities. We also visit patients and the elderly in their own homes.

B&BTD is an American Kennel Club recognized therapy dog organization, and has been instrumental in the development of the growth of therapy dogs nationally.

We never charge for a therapy dog visit. We believe visitation should be conducted as a volunteer service, because all our handlers and their dogs are volunteers. We pride ourselves upon being an all-volunteer 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, so contributions and donations are important to us. Of course, donations are tax deductible.

What do pet therapists do?

Therapy dog teams work in a wide variety of situations:

Our dogs visit children in pediatric wards in hospitals. Most of the children have never been away from home before. They are frightened and fearful at the prospect of having to spend time in a big scary hospital. Sometimes the children are severely handicapped. When they visit, the dogs seem to spark a reaction no one has ever seen before.

We go to schools to work with children with developmental needs. Many of them demonstrate anxiety and behavioral issues, but are calmed by petting a friendly and engaging therapy dog.

We visit lonely seniors in nursing and assisted living homes. The dogs and handlers provide a welcome change in their routine and often form lasting friendships with the patients. They bring back pleasant memories of family pets in days gone by.

When we visit rehabilitation facilities and hospitals, the patients are able to ease the boredom of institutional life or the pain of recent surgery by visits from a friendly face with a wagging tail. Sometimes a depressed patient who hasn’t spoken in months will have a conversation with a dog. Difficult patients can become more compliant with a furry face to convince them to take their pills, and follow doctor’s orders.

Many of our teams work in libraries or after school programs with reading sessions. The stress of learning to read can be made easier for some children when they read aloud to a friendly, non-threatening dog. We also help high school and college students lessen their anxiety during the tensions of exam week when they spend a few minutes petting a visiting dog.

Finally, many of our dogs provide “grief relief”. In this capacity, our teams have worked in schools and funeral homes to provide comfort during difficult times.

Our handlers and dogs come in all ages, shapes and sizes — they are truly bright and beautiful.

June Golden, Executive Director

Get that dog off the couch!

The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. Board of Directors

1999 Founding Members and Board of Directors

June Golden
Morris Plains, NJ

Hazel Wichman
Morris Plains, NJ

Peter Ceru
Dover, NJ

Janet Mines Krings
Jersey City, NJ

Kenneth Staples
Nutley, NJ

Board of Directors Emeritus

Kenneth Staples

Susan Drastal

Janet Mines Krings

Hazel Wichman

Wendy Wojtaszek

June Fisher-Markowitz

Eileen Johnstone

Betty Kish

Ann Watson

Debbie Perrotta

Joanne Silver

Patty Vandenbos

2023 Board of Directors

June Golden, Chairman of the Board
Executive Director and Founder
Morris Plains, NJ 

Peter Ceru, Board of Directors
Charter Member
Dover, NJ 

Cathy Lucianin, Board of Directors
Member since 1999
Pemberton, NJ 

Dr. David Brown, Board of Director
Montecello, IL 

Steve Calcagno, Board of Directors
Member since 2016
Rochester Hills, MI 

Alan White, Board of Directors
Member since 2019
Waco, TX 

Jennifer Wichman Nelson, Board of Directors
Member since 2020
Knoxville, TN 

Susan Jakobs, Board of Directors
Member since 2011
Morrison, IL 

Lorna R. Klein, Board of Directors
Board Secretary
Barnegat, NJ

Advisory Council

June Golden
Executive Director

Lorna R. Klein
Editor, “Woof Mail” Newsletter

Kira Wright
Evaluator Advisor

Dr. Karen Dashfield, DVM

Barbara Edwards, Esq.
Legal Counsel

Reverend George N. Gavin
Interfaith Minister

Kate De Biasi,
General Counsel

Joe Matheson
J. Matheson and Assoc.
Financial Advisor

Peter Campione
Training Advisor

Chip Griggs
Technical Adviser

The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.


The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) all volunteer organization. We do not accept monetary compensation for our visitation. Testing fees and membership fees are donations and are tax deductible.

Contact Us

80 Powder Mill Road, Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Phone: (973)292-3316
Toll-Free (888) 738-5770
Fax: (973)292-9559