Volunteering is extremely rewarding. You will interact with experts in their fields and build lasting friendships. You never know when someone you have worked with will see you in the grocery store, restaurant or anywhere, and want to catch you up on their lives. We volunteers share stories with each other about how excited our dogs get when we put their scarves or vests on and tell them “Let’s get dressed to go to work.”
How to Get Started as a Therapy Dog Team
- Your dog must be a minimum of 18 months old, enjoy being with people, and have attended an obedience class (not just a puppy class).
- You must attend orientation.
- You and your dog must participate in and pass our pre-evaluation to ensure your dog has the temperament and intermediate skills to be a potential therapy dog.
- You and your dog must complete our 7-week training program designed to train you and your dog for real life situations that you will experience when volunteering in the community.
- You and your dog must pass our final evaluation. During this evaluation, you and your dog will be evaluated on various skills taught during the training classes to see if you are ready to become a member of Caring Canines.
- You must attend any yearly refresher courses offered and attend the orientation for your assigned facility.
- You must also commit to work at a facility 1 hour or less a week, plus your preparation, grooming of the dog, and travel time, and be a Caring Canines member for a minimum of 1 year.
- You must keep your dog’s yearly health exam and vaccinations up-to-date.
Please contact us if you would like more information about how our dogs can help your organization, or if you wish to enter a training program to become a volunteer.