The program was established to provide comfort, company and assistance for those in healthcare and education facilities throughout the community. We believe that life is more precious when trust, unconditional love and respect exist as the primary bond between animals and people.
Seeing your dog change lives while working beside you will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life and will be something that you and your dog will eagerly anticipate.
Therapy dogs come in all sizes, shapes, breeds, ages, gender. Knowing this, how do you determine the qualities needed for a successful career as a therapy dog? After all, each person visited will have different preferences. One person may be frightened of large dogs but quickly reach for that tiny Shih Tzu. Another person may find a huge lug of a dog much easier to hug. A hyper-active child will need a very calm dog that he can lie next to on the floor.
Even the geriatric dog can find a place in therapy work. After all, some senior citizens will certainly be able to identify better with a slow-moving, gray-muzzled, slightly arthritic dog. And, just think what the courage exhibited by a three-legged dog can teach a paraplegic or someone struggling with a terminal illness. The major ingredients for these situations are personality and temperament.
Is your dog happy to be around people? Is this exhibited through expressive body language such as a wiggling body, wagging tail or “smiling face”?
If you answered yes to the questions above, your dog has passed the first test. Those two questions are essential and must receive an enthusiastic YES!!!
Every therapy dog must be even-tempered, good-natured, and able to accept handling by friends and strangers alike.
• Complete an application and be approved by the evaluator(s).
• Therapy Dog Prep School or have equivalent experiences approved by the evaluator(s).
• Dog and Handler must successfully pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.
• Be interested in and available to volunteer at least once a month.
• Minimum age of handler is 18 years old.
• Submit Application to Paws Of Love
• Meet with trainer for Evaluation of your dog.
• Pass a physical examination and present shot record upon entry into the program and annually thereafter.
• Be free from parasites (internally and externally).
• Not have any open sores.
• Be bathed within a minimum of 3 days prior to a visit or at the discretion of the Team Leader.
• Be brushed the day of a visit.
• Successfully pass the POL annual Team Evaluation.