To get involved in Pet Therapy you need to consider the following:
1. Does your animal have the right temperament for pet therapy? Temperament is probably the most important factor to consider. “Mellow” is a good way to describe most therapy animals. Your animal partner should enjoy visiting people it doesn’t know and be under control at all times. Your animal should not startle easily. Your animal must not be aggressive at all.
2. Does your animal have obedience training? Another important factor to consider is obedience training. Pet therapy does not require competition level obedience, but the animal must be under your control at all times. This does not mean physical restraint. Your dog must demonstrate self-control.
3. How long have you had your animal? Your animal partner must live in your home for at least 6 months and be at least 1 year old. Exceptions to this exist for different kinds of animals.
4. Is your animal on a Raw Protein diet? Pet Partners® animals may not be fed a raw protein diet. Animals previously fed a raw protein diet must be off that diet for at least four weeks before registering with Pet Partners®. Please visit the Pet Partners® site to learn more about the Pet Partners® raw protein diet policy. (*No animal in the household can be on a raw protein diet)
5. Volunteer handlers must be at least 10 years old. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must have written permission to participate.
6. Have you had training for AAA/T? You must attend a Pet Partners® Handler Workshop or complete the online Pet Partners® Therapy Animal Handler Course.
7. Has your animal completed a Veterinarian Health Screening? Your animal must pass a health screening by your veterinarian. In addition, your pet must be free of parasites.
8. Schedule an evaluation through Pet Partners® website. Please note that only authorized Pet Partners® evaluators can administer the Pet Partners® tests. Evaluations are $20 payable to Paws 4 Healing. For more information about what an evaluation is, click here!
9. After your evaluation you will need to complete your registration via Pet Partners® website.
11. You will receive an order form to purchase necessary Paws 4 Healing attire for you and your dog. You will be required to wear a Paws 4 Healing shirt and your animal will wear a vest or bandana.
12. Schedule your first visit with your Paws 4 Healing Chapter Coordinator. After you receive your Pet Partners® identification badge, animal ID tag and Paws 4 Healing vest, you can schedule your first visit with the Paws 4 Healing Chapter Coordinator in your area. They will help you pick an appropriate facility for your first visit.
For more information on Pet Partners® Handler Workshops or online Therapy Handler Course, check the Courses and Evaluations calendar on the Pet Partners® website.
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