How to Become a Registered Therapy Animal Team
Step 1: Train the 'Human-End' of the Leash by attending a Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course either in-person or online.
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
We encourage those living internationally and wishing to become a therapy animal team to contact the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) at www.iahaio.org. At this time we are continuing to work with existing groups in Canada, but are not adding new teams in other countries.
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:
Instructor-led workshops are highly recommended. Prospective volunteers who complete an instructor-led workshop are more likely to pass their team evaluation on the first attempt. The Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course is presented as an 8 hour course. Students receive a copy of the Therapy Animal Handler Student Guide and practice visiting skills. Upon successful completion, students are given a certificate of completion and a registration packet. These courses are taught by licensed Pet Partners instructors and scheduled throughout the year in locations all over the country. To find a Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course near you, CLICK HERE.
An Online Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Handler Course is available for handlers who cannot attend a workshop. The course includes a downloadable student guide and additional resource documents, with video and knowledge checks to reinforce learning. Students that complete and pass the overall assessment will be able to download a certificate of completion and the registration packet.
Course certificates for workshops and online courses are valid for 2 years.