Student Volunteering Opportunities

To become a registered Pet Partners' handler (with or without an animal), you will need to check out our Pre-requisites page. The person handling the animal (handlers) must be at least 10 years old. Handlers younger than 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must have written permission to participate from a parent or guardian.

How to Become a Registered Pet Partners Team


There are just four steps:

Pre-Requisites for becoming a registered Pet Partners team
Step 1:
Train the "Human-End of the Leash" by attending a Pet Partners' Handler Course either in-person* or online.
Step 2: Have the Health of Your Animal Partner Screened by a Veterinarian
Step 3: Have Your Human-Animal team's Skills & Aptitude Evaluated
Step 4: Submit Your Registration Application
*You can either go to the Courses and Evaluations Calendar  page, or contact the nearest Licensed Pet Partners Instructor in your area for their next scheduled Pet Partners' Handler course.

The Pet Partners' Handler Course includes terminology, responsibilities, confidentiality, animal health & safety, skill requirements for animals, animal stress signals, how to respond and interact with different client populations, types of facilities, working with a treatment team, infection control, reducing risk, communication, and preparation for & conducting a visit.


Volunteering as a Pet Partners' Handler with an Animal

All handlers with an animal must go through a Team Evaluation where both ends of the leash are evaluated.

TIP: *Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete both the training course or home study course, and the team evaluation.

Volunteering Without an Animal

People who do not have an animal may register as a 'Pet Partners' Volunteer Only'. A 'Pet Partners' Volunteer Only' can volunteer with a registered therapy animal team as a helper or can support their group by helping with projects but they cannot handle the animal.

Be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions section to see answers to our most common questions about the program.

Volunteer with a Community Partner

A Community Partner is a group formed to represent Pet Partners in their community which has met specific criteria. To find a Community Partner in your area, please use our Community Partners Directory.

Volunteer at a Team Evaluation Session

Often Team Evaluators need volunteers for their Skills and Aptitude role play exercises, as well as registration check-in, and general team evaluation setup. Read our blog "So Needed: Volunteers to help with Evaluations" to find out more details.

NOTE: For direct hands-on experience with animals you will need to be over 18 years of age. You can contact our Community Partners and Team Evaluators by going to our Directories webpage.

Volunteer at our Bellevue, WA Office Headquarters

Volunteers are often needed in different departments, helping with filing, photocopying, scanning, mailings, event planning, writing articles, research, data-entry etc. For more information contact Linda Dicus at 425) 679-5515 or lindad@petpartners.org.

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