How to Become a Registered Therapy Animal Team
Prior to starting the registration process, it is essential that you read and agree to the
Step 1: Train the 'Human-End' of the Leash by attending a Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course either in-person or online.
Prerequisites for Becoming a Registered Therapy Animal Team
Step 2: Have the Health of Your Therapy Animal Screened by a Veterinarian
Step 3: Have Your Human-Animal team's Skills & Aptitude Evaluated
Step 4: Submit Your Registration Application
Pet Partners is not able to register new international teams. Please contact the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) at www.iahaio.org for information and assistance regarding animal-assisted activities/therapy outside of the United States.
Step 1: Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course
Learn the skills needed to visit safely with your animal in hospitals, nursing homes, classrooms, and other facilities. Successful completion of this course, in instructor-led or online format, is required for registration as a Therapy Animal Team.
● How to tell if both you and your animal are a good fit for becoming a volunteer team.
● Preparing yourself and your animal for visits.
● Identifying and decreasing stress in your animal.
● Animal health and safety.
● Special needs of specific client groups.
● How to interact with different types of people.
● Facility health and safety codes.
● Patient confidentiality.
Complete the Handler course in one of the two formats offered:
- Attend a workshop: Attending the workshop is highly recommended. Potential volunteers who complete an instructor-lead Pet Partners Therapy Animal Handler Training Course are more likely to pass the Evaluation on the first attempt. Another advantage of attending the workshop is the scheduling of the Team Evaluation follows a more coordinated path. Some comments from recent course attendees:
● "Really enjoyed the class and will highly recommend it to others"
● "Excellent teaching skills and sharing of experiences to make a more real experience for the class. Great use of examples."
● "Great- well worth the fee"
The Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course is presented as either an 8 or 12-hour course. Students receive a copy of the popular Therapy Animal Handler Student Guide and practice visiting skills. Courses are scheduled throughout the year in locations all over the country. All workshops are taught by licensed instructors. To find a Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course near you, CLICK HERE.
**PLEASE NOTE** The Therapy Animal Handler Student Guide will be provided by the Instructor.
- Complete the Online Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course: For handlers who cannot attend a workshop, Pet Partners offers an online version of the Therapy Animal Handler Course. The course includes a downloadable student guide and additional support documents, with interactive activities, video, knowledge checks to reinforce learning that will help handlers understand the necessary skills to visit safely and successfully. Students that complete and pass the overall assessment will receive a certificate of completion and the registration packet.
*If you completed the Home Study Course, the timeline to submit your registration packet has passed. You will need to take the Pet Partners Handler Online Course or attend an in-person workshop to be eligible for registration. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.679.5530 with questions.