How can I become a Pet Partner Therapy Animal Team?
1. Handlers must be at least 10 years old. Handlers younger than 16 must have written permission to participate and be accompanied on visits by a parent or guardian.
2. 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. For more information on the raw protein diet policy, visit www.petpartners.org/rawdiet.
3. Animals should be healthy and already have a basic level of training. Cats/dogs must be at least 1 year old and must have lived with the handler for a minimum of 6 months. For other species, refer to www.petpartners.org/species. Both handler and animal should have an interest in people and be comfortable in health care settings or other visiting environments. Handlers must also have good control of and proactive communication with the animal.
4. Animals with a history of biting or aggression or that are trained for protection or bite work, even if part of a dog sport (e.g., Schutzhund or hunting activities), are not eligible. Animals that have killed another domestic animal are not eligible.
Four major steps to becoming a Pet Partners® Volunteer Therapy Animal Team
Step 1: Course work
1. Go to www.petpartners.org/courses. NOTE: the Pet Partners® Handler Workshop is for you, not your pet.
2. Click on the name of your state. If the name of your state is not a hyperlink, click on the name of a surrounding state that is linked to a calendar. Courses are updated regularly, so a course may come available in your area at any time. NOTE: When displaying the calendar, it is best to select 4 months in advance.
3. If you are unable to find a workshop on the calendar, visit www.petpartners.org/instructor to locate an instructor in your area.
4. If no workshops are being held in your area, you can take the online course. Visit www.petpartners.org/onlinecourses for more information.
Step 2: Animal Health Screening
Different species have different health needs. Animals need to be healthy, friendly, sociable, and up-to-date (as required by your veterinarian and state laws) on vaccinations. Animals must be free of external and internal parasites. Proof of rabies vaccination and fecal exam results within the last 6 months must be included in your animal’s health screening. For more information, visit www.petpartners.org/healthscreening.
Step 3: Team Evaluation
1. Go to www.petpartners.org/evaluations
2. Click on the name of your state. If the name of your state is not a hyperlink, click on the name of a surrounding state that is linked to a calendar. Evaluations are updated regularly, so an evaluation may come available in your area at any time. NOTE: When displaying the calendar it is best to select 4 months in advance.
3. If you are unable to find an evaluation on the calendar, visit www.petpartners.org/evaluator to locate an evaluator in your area.
4. For further assistance, please contact Pet Partners at 425-679-5524 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Paperwork
Once you complete the evaluation, send all completed paperwork along with your registration fee to Pet Partners. After your paperwork is processed, you will receive an acceptance letter with your ID, which will allow you to begin making visits. You must receive the acceptance letter prior to scheduling or making visits. Your permanent ID badge and animal tag will arrive in 3–4 weeks. Time commitment for visits is dependent on your schedule, the population that you are visiting, and the needs of the facility.
2 Year Registration Fee (subject to change)
Handler with 1 animal
Registered Affiliate Group Member**
Volunteer without an Animal
Senior Handler (65+) or Handler w/disability
*$70 of the Patron registration is tax-deductible, plus you receive a free vest!
**Not sure whether your group is registered affiliate? Visit www.petpartners.org/affiliates or ask
Oregon Coast Therapy Animals, P.O. Box 335, Newport, OR 97365
Pet Partners Affiliate #23518