About Us

K9Healers was founded in order to enrich the relationship between people and their canines.  The goal of K9Healers is to build positive relationships between dogs and their people through training and education.  This is achieved through classes, private lessons and/or public presentations.  For more information contact Gail deepeace.rural@gmail.com

Gail Furst

Gail Furst is certified as a professional dog trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and through Animal Behavior Institute as a Animal Assisted Therapy Professional.  Gail has been interested in using animals to bring joy and comfort to people for over 20 years. She has provided therapy dog services to the Canandaigua VA, Thompson, local schools and Penn Yan’s Long Term Care facilities. She has been involved in developing programs for OPWDD, Penn Yan, Dundee, Canandaigua, and Rushville schools. Gail founded the Therapy Dog International Chapter # 216 serving the Finger Lakes and Monroe County areas.  Gail works at Ontario ARC as the Director of Training for the Pet Connections program http://www.mypetconnections.org

Gail founded her own business K9 Healers in order to teach others how to spread the benefits of pet therapy work. Her classes offer more than dog training training, students learn massage, nutrition, first aid, aroma therapy and holistic care for their companion.

3dogsGail has been providing Pet Therapy programs to individuals with developmental disabilities, elderly, children, and inpatient psychiatric settings for over 20 years. Her first therapy dog was Rosie, the fawn colored boxer shown here.   She has since had 3 boxers all registered therapy dogs who have joined Rosie in their next life.  Currently Gail has Albert James, a 9 year old boxer who is retired as a therapy dog but he continues to help train Willow a 3 year old therapy boxer who is attempting to fill his footprints within the Pet Connections program.  Gail recently adopted Sage, a lovely pit bull mix who is also working within the Pet Connections program learning about therapy dog work.

Before becoming training director for Ontario ARC’s Pet Connections program, Gail worked in the human service field as a coordinator for worksite wellness projects and as a community builder in a small rural town where her position includes providing pet therapy and educational programs to youth at the local youth center. She sat on the Board of Directors of a former local organization called “TheraPets” and is founder and former director for Therapy Dog International Chapter #216.

Gail is certified through Animal Behavior Institute as an Animal Assisted Therapy Professional and through e-training for dogs (cheryl@e-trainingfordogs.com) in Canine CPR/First Aid, Vet Clinic Puppy Manners and Socialization and is studying Canine Massage. She is certified as an evaluator for Therapy Dog International and AKC Canine Good Citizen , S.T.A.R. Puppy, Community Canine and Urban Canine Good Citizen.  Gail is also an instructor and evaluator for APDT Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.)  Gail is a member of The Pet Professional Guild, The Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals


gail_alia - CopyGail has volunteered at the VA Hospital in Canandaigua, Thompson Hospital’s Hospital Long Term Care facility and continues to do educational programs in local schools and is a regular presenter at Monroe Community College’s “The Foundations of Animal Assisted Therapy” class. Gail has provided animal assisted interventions to a variety of populations including children, elderly, individuals of all ages with emotional, physical and developmental disabilities and incarcerated adults.

MVC-021Scc - Copy - CopyIn 1994 Gail developed a program and wrote a grant to support a program for youth in a small rural county. The intent of this program was to help youth become aware of service to their community through volunteering at the local long term care facility. This remains as an ongoing after school program in the Yates County community. The youth learn how to provide pet assisted visits to the residents in a local nursing home using a certified therapy dog as a bridge for communication. This intergenerational program teaches children reverence for life and improves their feeling of self worth and was featured in the Humane Society of the United States’ directory of programs that prevented violence using animals. Her program also uses “First Strike” information developed by the HSUS which makes the connection between animal abuse and human violence. This program was also recognized and featured in the 2001 annual report by “America’s Promise” a national program led by General Colin Powell to encourage communities to support their youth.

albertGail  is an evaluator for Therapy Dog International and AKC’s Canine Good Citizen and AKC’s S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. Gail provides puppy aptitude tests on 49 day old puppies for suitable placement in pet and working homes.

Gail has recently successfully completed 4 e-training courses for dogs and is currently learning more about service dog training

  • Herbal Remedies and Aromatherapy
  • Canine First Aid and CPR
  • Vet Clinic Puppy Manners and Socialization
  • Canine Anatomy and Physiology

Gail is certified as an Animal Assisted Therapy Professional through the Animal Behavior Institute.


Gail Cosler

gail_coslerKnown as the “other one” Gail Cosler has been with Gail for over 15 years at Homestead. Gail has been the Activities Supervisor at the long term care nursing facility for 19 years.

Gail first approached the other Gail about a program then known as Therapets that brings children and dogs into the facility to provide a program with our residents. Little did she know that this was going to be one of the best programs she could have for her residents. Her belief is dogs, children, and music are the best programs to have around for the residents. (Now her residents would have to throw bingo in there also!!)

She has trained three of her dogs at Homestead in Gail’s classes. She says, “I must admit they are the best classes. Training your dog is so important not only for you, but for the dog. They so want to please us and what better way then to be able to communicate in a positive manner through these classes.”

Presently, Gail brings in her boston terrier, Beemer. He is named after the BMW motorcycle that he rides on with her husband. Goggles and all. He brings so much comfort, support and love to many of her residents. Just the other morning she was asked to bring him to one of our residents rooms that was having a particularly bad morning. When she saw Beemer, she said “there’s my baby”. Gail placed Beemer on her lap and she started to pet and talk with him. She was talking about all her “problems” and all with a huge smile on her face. She so enjoyed being able to hold, pet, laugh and talk with him. The rest of her day was so much brighter. For Gail, this is what it is all about. Those moments of pleasure because our friends, our dogs.

Gail lives in the country on 52 acres with her husband Joe, three dogs, Beemer, Lacey, Sadie and our cat, Mouser. A few of her favorite things to do are motorcycling, music, camping but especially playing with her four year old granddaughter, Isabel.


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