The following information will help you understand the general process to follow to be registered for therapy work and then become a Paws 4 Love organizational member.
- Dogs must be at least one year of age.
- Dogs need to have a good temperament and have basic obedience (special therapy dogs classes are NOT required).
- Before joining Paws 4 Love, dogs need to be tested and have formal registration in a national therapy dog organization such as Alliance of Therapy Dogs or Pet Partners. You can contact Paws 4 Love if you need help finding a tester/observer.
- Dogs must have an annual physical examination by a veterinarian, including a fecal check. Dogs must be current on all vaccinations, including rabies. Titers are acceptable. You must certify annually with your P4L membership renewal form that your dog is current in their vaccination records and have completed the annual fecal examination with a negative result for parasites. This fecal exam can be done either by your vet or the Department of Agriculture on 21st street in Sparks.
- Members agree to abide by all guidelines adopted by Paws 4 Love when volunteering under the name of Paws 4 Love.
- Members need to renew each year with their national therapy dog organization and with Paws 4 Love.
- As a registered therapy team, you can visit any facility that will allow visitation.
- During visits, dogs must be readily identifiable as a registered therapy dog.
- Members must belong to a national therapy dog organization (NTDO). Paws for Love does NOT provide for liability or any other form of insurance while participating in visits or other activities under the name of Paws 4 Love.
- Members, who would like to visit facilities currently not on the list of those served by P4L, may do so. The individual member is personally responsible for all coordination and administration pertaining to that facility. They are also responsible for knowing and adhering to all policies and procedures, rules and regulations of those facilities as they pertain to the dog therapy team’s work there.
- P4L membership minimum age requirement is 12. Any member under the age of 18 must be approved by a national therapy dog organization, follow the guidelines of that organization and must be accompanied by a responsible adult while on therapy dog visits representing P4L.
- Each handler may handle only one dog at a time while participating in any therapy dog visits and/or activities.
- Advocating for your dog is a priority. Be aware that length of visit needs to be based on your dog’s attention span and stress level.
- Handlers must carry a current national therapy dog organization card as proof of current membership in good standing.
- Members must have written proof of dog’s vaccination readily available at each visit; in the car, or on your person, or on file at the facility you visit.