National Therapy Animal Day proclaimed in Laurel

June 12, 2024

They say that every dog has his day. In the case of Archie, a four-year-old King Charles Spaniel, that day was April 29th, 2024.

That was the day that Archie and his owner, Allison Temple, got to visit with Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee to discuss the important role that therapy animals, such as Archie, play in communities around the country.

Allison Temple, Director of Family Engagement and Assistant Director of Federal Programs with Laurel City Schools, decided to have her good-natured pup certified through Pet Partners to become a therapy dog so that he could serve the community. Now, Allison and Archie visit local schools, workplaces, and long-term care facilities to bring joy to those they encounter.

During their regular classroom visits, Archie helps students learn about hygiene, improve their executive functioning, and provides an opportunity for active children to play calmly and shy children to join in a group activity. He also helps children who may have a fear of dogs.

In workplace and long-term care settings, Archie brings joy and “gives people something to talk about,” Temple explained.

To schedule a visit from Archie and Allison, contact Allison Temple at

To learn more about the Pet Partners program, visit

The proclamation read as follows:

Whereas, there are thousands of Pet Partners therapy animal teams serving in communities across the United States; and

Whereas, Pet Partners has designated April 30 as National Therapy Animal Day; and

Whereas; scientific research shows that interacting with therapy animals can reduce stress, relieve depression, slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and strengthen the immune system; and

Whereas, therapy animal teams in the City of Laurel play an essential role in improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond; and

Whereas, therapy animal teams interact with a variety of people in our community including veterans, seniors, patients, students, and those approaching end of life; and

Whereas; these exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions bring comfort and healing to those in need; and

Whereas, we encourage more pet owners to consider becoming Pet Partners volunteers to help our community by creating greater access to meaningful therapy animal visits.

Now, therefore, I, Johnny Magee, Mayor of the City of Laurel, do hereby proclaim April 30, 2024, as National Therapy Animal Day in the City of Laurel and encourage our citizens to celebrate our therapy animals and their human handlers. Further, I publicly salute the service of therapy animal teams in our community and in communities across the nation.

In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Laurel, Mississippi to be affixed this the 29th day of April, A.D. 2024.


The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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