"I have managed over 125 different health care facilities in 14 states and Angel Paws is different than any other pet therapy program I have experienced in that your volunteers are highly professional, start to finish. I believe that Angel Paws is a role model for anyone seeking true Animal Assisted Therapy in a health care setting." - John Hughes, Former Owner/Administrator, Flint Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation
Angel Paws' Pet Partners® Training & Registration Process
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST! Some volunteer candidates may be surprised by our comprehensive volunteer screening and training process. This is understandable and we wish that willing, open hearts were sufficient to meet the required standards. Rest assured that Angel Paws receives no profit from any volunteer training or registration fees that are necessary to provide a quality service to our community and to preserve the integrity, credibility and reputation of this important work as well as protect Angel Paws, volunteers, and facilities from potential liability. The good news is that as a Pet Partners® Community Partner recognized as a leader in Central Ohio, our volunteers receive discounts on all training and registration fees and as a registered Angel Paws/Pet Partners® therapy team you and your pet will carry a $2,000,000. primary liability insurance policy among other Benefits including: additional, free volunteer training; free animal/handler photo ID; free animal collar ID tag; animal/handler uniforms; and free photo calling cards for your pet. And, best of all, you will have acquired the skills, and comfort level necessary to be a confident member of a top quality, standards based local program we can all be proud to be a part of! Scholarships may be available for qualified candidates. Please Contact us for more information about scholarships after you have considered all requirements listed below and returned our volunteer Team Application.
PLEASE DO NOT WAIT FOR ORIENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS, DOG TRAINING, OR TESTS
TO CONTACT US .
Advance preparation is required & we are here to
help you succeed!
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VIDEO "Moment by Moment"
Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society)
The Following Steps are Required for all Angel Paws Pet Partners Therapy Animal/Handler Teams
Please see scroll down for more details:
Please see scroll down for more details:
Training and registration requirements & prerequisites offered in documents below only scratch the surface, please scroll down for more detailed explanations . Links to more detailed pages for each step are also provided below. Click lower right box for full screen view
Please click on blue buttons to visit detailed web pages!
OPTIONAL (highly recommended but not required)
A. Introductory Orientation - generally only offered once a year - start dog training ASAP, do not wait for introductory orientation
B. * Dog Training!!! It is extremely rare for those without at least some recent training with a professional to be truly ready to be a therapy team with a dog. Most need to at least brush up on past training. The sooner you begin dog training the better!
C. Pre-Screen potential for therapy work - Meet with Angel Paws Founder Director for pre-screening, feedback & support to help assess your animal's potential & readiness for therapy work & what your best next step would be.
A. Introductory Orientation. Attend Angel Paws Introductory Presentation when available (generally offered in February). Meanwhile, YOUR AT THE RIGHT PLACE! Please take advantage of all the information around this web site. Required Step Descriptions on right include additional pages to read carefully relative to each step. Please Click Here for more information about our Introductory Orientation and general information. You may also find our FAQs page helpful.
B. *** Dog Training!
IF YOU PLAN TO VOLUNTEER WITH A DOG
DO NOT DELAY DOG TRAINING!!!
C. Pre-Screen animal potential for therapy work - Meet with Trained & Licensed Pet Partners Evaluator/Instructor for pre-screening, feedback & support to help assess your animal's potential for therapy work and what skills and socialization may need more work. See bottom of our "Can My Pet Be a Therapy Pet" page for details. Candidates must have Team Application on file prior to makina pre-screen.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! Angel Paws honors and respects the uniquely intimate relationships we have with our dogs and believes that dog training is a personal choice. However we do highly recommend true Positive Reinforcement dog training which can mean many different things to many different people/trainers. Although no specific dog training is required a demonstration of basic skills & aptitude of both animal and handler are required for the Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test (PPSAT). See PPSAT information and link in step #3 on right.
Many candidates expect or would like to attend a "therapy dog training class" and "graduate" with "a therapy dog". This is understandable but not realistic. Every dog is different. Every handler is different. And every animal/handler team's lifestyle and habits are different. These variables all determine where a team will begin as well as how fast they will progress. For these and other reasons handlers are ultimately responsible for their own dog training but we are here to help our candidates succeed and provide a variety of recommended dog training options.
Formal dog training is optional -we are only interested in results - but those who have completed dog training with a professionally trained positive reinforcement dog trainer - preferably clicker training as our recommended trainers teach - have a significantly higher rate of success meeting the requirements of our program with the added ability to be truly safe and effective in a wider variety of environments over a longer term.
Once you have learned appropriate positive reinforcement techniques from one of our recommended trainers (or the trainer of your choice) we would be happy to accompany you on a social visit in a public place to provide you with constructive feedback free of charge if you like but it is necessary to learn those basic skills first. Remember; we train, register and insure therapy TEAMS (not only dogs) and it is important to take YOUR responsibility as a therapy dog handler/trainer seriously. Handler is 50% of the team but 100% responsible! And YOU are your dog's trainer!
The Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test (PPSAT) is actually more of an entrance exam than a final exam. The test is designed to evaluate how you and your dog interact with each other (relaxed, reliable response to verbal/visual cues) at the same time you are interacting with others in a variety of potentially challenging and emotionally charged situations but we can never test for every situation you are likely to encounter.
We encourage you to review and revisit our Essential Tips for Therapy Dog Training pages often regardless of who you train with. You will learn how to more effectively apply all these basic skills to the therapeutic visiting process in our Handlers Workshop (people only, no pets) and in your on-site training visits but those universal basic dog training skills (relaxed, reliable response to basic verbal/visual cues) must come first. Please contact us &/or click HERE to open our recommended Dog Training Courses page.
True "Therapy Dog Training" is on-going, on the job, and there is nothing you could learn in any class (even so called "therapy dog training classes") that could effectively simulate what you will potentially encounter in real life therapeutic situations. Every dog is different and not even every therapy dog is appropriate for every environment so each individual team must work at their own pace in the environment that is appropriate for them which is why we provide and require individual on-site training visits as well. There is no charge for our practice social visits or our on-site training visits. Your success is our goal and we want to do all we can to help you succeed. Including Scholarships that may include dog training!
PLEASE DO NOT WAIT FOR OUR HANDLERS WORKSHOP, OR SKILLS & APTITUDE TEST TO BEGIN YOUR DOG TRAINING! Habits take time to develop for both animals and handlers so the sooner you begin dog training the sooner you will be ready to pass the required test and begin fine tuning your visiting skills!
Visit our DOG TRAINING COURSE web page and enroll as soon as possible!
Other important Dog Training pages to review include:
Is your pet suitable for therapy work?
* REQUIRED STEPS
Is your pet ready for therapy work?
#1. Application. This will help us, and you, know how we may most effectively help you move forward in the process! Please complete your application AFTER you have carefully considered the necessary requirements listed on this page. "Can My Pet Be a Therapy Pet" and details of the required Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test If you are interested in volunteering with an alternate species of therapy animal (cat, bird, bunny, pocket pet, etc.) please Click HERE.
Click blue button below for Team Application.
#2. Pet Partners Handler Workshop. (Handlers only - no pets) This course is designed to train the human end of the leash for AAT/T work because the handler is 50% of the team but 100% responsible. Learn how to safely & effectively work with your animal on visits. How to prepare for & conduct visits. Emphasis on Saftey; advocating for you animal; preparing for the Skills & Aptitude Test and what to expect during the test & on visits. $60. registration fee. Completion of this course is required within 2 years prior to taking the skills & aptitude test but within 3 months is recommended. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT FOR THIS COURSE TO BEGIN PREPARING YOUR ANIMAL (DOG HANDLERS - PLEASE SEE INFORMATION ON THE LEFT ABOUT DOG TRAINING). Please be sure to begin appropriate dog training as described on the left as soon as possible. PLEASE NOTE: APPROPRIATE Leadership and Socialization practice in as many different locations as possible while keeping in mind all the required test criteria and Essential Tips for Therapy Dog Training is highly recommended as often and as early as time permits. We have included an abundance of information on this web site under the Volunteer tab to help you begin now rather than wait for our next Handlers Workshop or Dog Training to be scheduled. Our workshop schedule depends on enrollment so please be sure to let us know if you are interested in registering for our next workshop.
Click blue button below for more information and registration ...
#3. Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test (PPSAT).
There is no charge for our PPSAT tests! Candidates have up to 2 years (but within 3 months is recommended) following completion of the Pet Partners Handlers Workshop to successfully pass the Pet Partners Skills and Aptitude Tests 22 test exercises test the skills & aptitude of BOTH animal & handler as a team. The test is designed to evaluate how both animal and handler each work together at the same time they are interacting with strangers in various situations similar to what might be encountered on a therapy visit. Ability of the team to inspire confidence with PRO-active handler skills & the animal's response to verbal/visual cues for basic behaviors such as "sit", "down", "stay", "come", "wait", "leave it" and "heel" or specific cue to walk close by on a LOOSE leash (leash as an insurance policy only rather than as a means of physical control or correction) are essential. (species requirements vary) These essential basic skills must be demonstrated during a variety of specific exercises and roll playing sequences. * PLEASE NOTE ACCEPTABLE EQUIPMENT! Scheduling will depend on readiness of candidates so please make sure you begin appropriate dog training with one of our recommended dog trainers if necessary ASAP if you plan to volunteer with a dog. Leadership and Socialization practice in as many different locations as possible while keeping in mind all the required test criteria and "Essential Tips ..." during and after dog training before your Skills & Aptitude Test is highly recommended as often as possible. Although you may take the test as often as you like (but not on the same day) we encourage you to make the most of each attempt. We have included an abundance of information on this web site to help you begin now rather than wait for our next Handlers Workshop to be scheduled. Please take advantage of all the information around this web site, under our Pet Partners Volunteer tab, to help you.
Click blue button below for important details & information.
#4. Pet Partners Registration (includes pet Health Screen) Have a licensed veterinarian complete the required health screen included in the registration papers included in the Pet Partners Student Guide you will receive in your Pet Partners Handlers Course. (required health screen includes full detailed exam, current vaccinations, and fecal exam results) Complete all registration papers. 2 year registration fee is $95.00 ($50. with Angel Paws Affiliate Group discount ) Srs., Disab. or Military, $50. for two (2) years includes complimentary Pet Partners membership, Interactions magazine subscription, animal/handler photo ID, pet ID tag, and $2 Million primary liability insurance coverage. (Additional Handlers or Animals, $30. Registration scholarships may be available to qualified candidates).
# 5. Angel Paws Volunteer Training & Facility Orientation. Bring it all together! (only for candidates who have completed steps #1 through 4 listed above) Attend Angel Paws FREE Training & Orientation (handlers only) Complete any required facility specific orientations, On-Site Training (1 observation visit without animal & all necessary supervised/training visit(s) with animal, as indicated). Some facilities require their own orientation and background checks. Angel Paws will provide logo pet bandana & personalized pet photo visit cards.
Click blue button button below for more details & information ...
*6. Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) Training & Registration. (*R.E.A.D. TEAMS ONLY)
Angel Paws/R.E.A.D. teams must be registered Pet Partners & complete all of the above requirements before attending a R.E.A.D. training Workshop. $40. (some exceptions may be made depending on workshop scheduling) Lifetime Registration for handlers with registered Therapy Pet is $50. with affiliate organization discount (reg. $60.) R.E.A.D. registration requires proof of registered therapy pet. Attendance at a R.E.A.D. Workshop prior to Pet Partners registration may be possible upon special request. Training & Workshop Registration scholarships may be available for qualified candidates. Angel Paws will provide personalized photo book marks, book plaits and stickers. Click blue button below for more information and workshop registration ...
PLEASE COMPLETE & RETURN: Angel Paws Animal/Handler Team Application referenced in Required Step #1 Above ... (this information will help us help you to best of our ability!)
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