As you may know, Ro and I are working on becoming a registered therapy team so we can give back to the local community and help others!
I am getting tons of messages regarding how to get started and that makes my heart happy.
Of course, I would love to help you get started. However, I realized every state is a bit different with the therapy registrations and process. So I recommend going to GOOGLE and searching your state name and therapy animals. I am positive the information presented will send you to the right places.
We recently moved to Utah so I googled last year "Utah therapy animals." Right away I found Therapy Animals of Utah. For anyone in Utah, this is the company you will be contacting.
For our Utah friends, there are 3 steps to become a registered team.
First step, complete an online course with PetPartners. This course took me about 2 hours to complete.
Second step, attend Hands on Handler Practicum. Which is what I did this weekend. This class was 9 hours and was incredible. You learn how to teach your dog to deal with wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and so much more.
AND LAST STEP, pass the Pet Partners Team Evaluation with your dog.
Now this is the hard part. Ro and I are in training so we can pass our exam. This exam combines basic training with stressful situations to make sure your dog does not show any aggression.
I was told most teams do not pass the first time! AH so nervous.
In the class I attended this weekend, they do an example evaluation exam and wow Ro and I are not ready. Your dog will be tested on simple sit, stay, down, leave it commands. But also people poking and squeezing them all at once, walkers, distractions, hygiene and more.
If your dog is already trained, YOU GO! This exam will be easy. But if you are like me and your dog isn't that great with some commands. I recommend attending training.
Once you pass your exam you and your pup are a registered therapy team and can begin visiting facilities.
One awesome thing is that this registration allows you and your dog to help in all 50 states, not just Utah.
Ro and I's end goal is to be able to work with hospice. With hard work and lots of love, we plan on getting registered as a team this year!