Janelle Nimer, Ph.D., LCSW has 10 of years of experience in Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI). In 2003, while working on her Master’s degree, Dr. Nimer began researching AAI. Dr. Nimer’s research on AAI has been presented at International Society for Anthrozoology and International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. She also published her AAI research in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Nimer completed a three-year doctoral fellowship in Veterinary Social Work in 2009. She has been teaching AAI to graduate students in Social Work since 2009 at the University of Tennessee and currently at the University of Utah.
Dr. Nimer turned her research into practical experience in 2004 when she began volunteering with an affiliate of Delta Society (now known as Pet Partners). As a volunteer for Delta Society, Dr. Nimer and her pet partner, Annie, lifted the spirits and improved depression and anxiety of patients by visiting hospitals and mental health clinics in Salt Lake County. In 2009, Dr. Nimer completed her first equine certification.
In 2013, she became the Board Chair of Therapy Animals of Utah (a Pet Partner Community Partner)and served in that role for 4 years. She is a co-owner of both the Utah Healing Center and the Animal-Assisted Healing Center where she includes AAI, along with other evidence based practices, in her outpatient mental health practice. In addition to working with canines in her practice, Dr. Nimer contracts with ranches across Northern Utah to incorporate equines into her therapy. Dr. Nimer’s passion is working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma or who have disabilities.