Island Dolphin Care, in Key Largo, is the world’s oldest freestanding nonprofit center that offers dolphin-assisted therapy. It’s been giving children with special needs the chance to become friends with dolphins for the past 15 years.
When Peter Hoagland and his wife, Deena, moved to Key Largo in 1990, their 3-year-old son, Joe, had just had one of several open-heart surgeries. A stroke left the boy paralyzed on the left side of his body. And traditional therapy didn’t seem to be helping him regain his body function.