Therapy dogs are different from service dogs but play a vital role in the community. They can serve in schools, group homes, court houses, and other facilities. Therapy dogs interact with people while they are on duty and people are encouraged to pet them. These dogs can be assigned to a specific facility or provide comfort to people in a variety of environments.
Therapy Dogs are defined as a pet dog that is trained specifically to provide comfort and love to community groups like hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Therapy dogs do NOT support a specific person. Handlers are certified as a team with their dog to ensure the dog acts safely and under control while visiting vulnerable populations such as those in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. They may also be trained to work at one specific facility and be permanently assigned there. Therapy dogs do not have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and must have prior authorization from each facility they enter.
Candidates for Therapy Dogs must submit all portions of the application. If approved by the board, the prospective dog will undergo physical assessments and temperament assessments before being approved for training. Training can be done in group classes for dogs of similar skill levels or in individual sessions for a slightly higher fee. In order to graduate, candidates for Therapy Dog must pass at least three of four practical assessments; two locations of our choosing and two of the handlers.