Bring comfort and happiness to your community
Few things are more rewarding than therapy dog work. Not only can you personally brighten the days of those who need companionship, but you get to witness first-hand the incredible impact a gentle, joyful dog can have on the lives of others.
Would you like to become a therapy dog volunteer?
Do you have (or know) a sweet-tempered dog that loves the whole world?
Then let’s work together to change lives for the better.
Our Membership Benefits
- The chance to help. As a therapy dog volunteer, you can bring comfort and healing to hundreds of people in hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. Do you see a need in your community? Get trained and certified, and you can reach out to institutions where you know you can make a difference—from treatment facilities to community centers.
- Volunteer insurance. Dogs are animals, not appliances with guarantees. Things can go wrong even with the best preparation, so all institutions visited by therapy dog volunteers require those volunteers to have insurance. With us, volunteer insurance is part of your membership.
- Accessibility. We make it easy to find therapy dog training and someone who can test you. How? Any certified dog trainer can sign up to become an evaluator with us. That means thousands of qualified people across the country—and the opportunity for you to train and take your test regardless of where you live.
- Peace of mind. With our Stability Standards, you can make visits knowing that a certified professional has assessed your dog’s behavior and obedience. What’s more, we support you every step of the way with ideas and answers to your questions, and by connecting you with other therapy dog teams.
How To Join
Step 1: Make Sure You Qualify
Our members must fulfill these criteria:
- Having passed the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen exam. (The exam must have been taken when the dog is at least one year old.) Click here to learn more about the exam.
- Having successfully completed an intermediate/advanced dog training class such as Rally-O, Canine Good Citizen, agility, therapy dog class, tricks class, AKC obedience, etc.
- Dog must have up-to-date vaccinations and be in good health.
- Dog must be at least one year old.
Do you have documentation of all of the above? Then you’re ready for the next step: the evaluation. (Don’t have the qualifications yet? We can help connect you to someone who can help you reach your goals.)
Step 2: Get Evaluated
- Find an evaluator. We can help you find an evaluator in your area—or a certified dog trainer willing to register with us as an evaluator. Contact us for more info.
- Get evaluated. Set up a time with your evaluator and pay him or her the $25 fee. Provided you successfully complete the evaluation, you’re nearly done! Complete the full evaluation information.
- Send us your photo. We need a current photo of you and your dog for your ID card. Upon passing your therapy dog evaluation, send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations! Once we receive your evaluation results from the evaluator, membership paperwork, your team photo and membership dues of $40 yearly, we’ll create your ID card & ID wallet (to be carried at all times while visiting as a therapy dog team) and send your confirmation paperwork.