About Us

Melissa Winkle, OTR/L, FAOTA  works with children and adults of all ages and abilities in Albuquerque, NM. Her private practice, Dogwood Therapy Services Inc. offers opportunities to improve independent living and vocational skills in natural and integrated community settings. Melissa is active in evaluation, intervention, consulting, international workshops, program development and research. Special interests include animal assisted interventions, assistance dogs as assistive technology options, and nature therapy. Melissa serves a number of local, national and international positions including:

  • Faculty or clinical instructor for a dozen universities within the United States, Chile, Spain, Argentina, & Costa Rica.
  • Standards and ethics committees related to the human-animal bond
  • President of the European based Animal Assisted Intervention International
  • Human-animal bond advisary committee for Pet Partners
  • Committee member for Oakland University School of Nursing-Animal Assisted Therapy development and task force
  • Served on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Animal Assisted Therapy development task force.
  • Treatment provider for the Animal Welfare Court Task Force in Albuquerque.
  • New Mexico Humanitarian of the Year Award
  • Recognized by the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women
  • Awarded Fellowship from the American Occupational Therapy Association for her work in animal assisted therapy and assistance dogs.



Dogwood is a teaching facility and offers fieldwork rotations to Doctorate level occupational therapy interns and for dog training interns who have completed formal coursework.  This means that our interns have completed formal education in their specialty field, and are ready to participate in supervised practicum. Other disciplines may also complete fieldwork at Dogwood.