Therapy Dog Ruby

Share the love your pet gives with others.

Volunteer with your pet.


1) Review the Pet Partners requirements, restrictions and costs. Pet Partners is the leading national organization       that sets standards for therapy animal visits and Animal-Assisted Interventions. Health Heelers assists people and appropriate pets in successfully completing the rigorous Pet Partner's evaluation process in order to become a     therapy animal team.

2) Review the Health Heelers Screening Criteria:

  • Dogs and cats should be at least 9 months old. (Although you can be evaluated with your animal when they are      as young as one year, very few dogs have the emotional maturity and stability at that age to effectively maneuver through the evaluation).

  • Dogs must respond to basic verbal and/or hand cues with at least 70% reliability (sit, down, stay, come) without treats. Skills can be polished in Therapy Dog Class.

  • Animals must be comfortable in a standard collar or harness and on leash and be comfortable traveling.

  • Animals must be confident in new places and around unfamiliar objects.

  • Animals must be polite in the company of other animals.

  • Animals must be exceedingly social towards unfamiliar people; not reserved, timid or uncertain.

3) If your pet meets the Screening Criteria you may submit the online Health Heelers application to request a free screening for objective, expert input about your pet's therapy potential, interest and readiness.

4) Health Heelers will contact you to schedule your screening appointment. Please do not submit an application if your dog does not have basic obedience skills, or if your pet takes time to 'warm up' to people, is inexperienced on a leash, is a nervous traveler, or has problems interacting with other animals. If you're uncertain, feel free to contact us. We are happy to talk with you about your specific situation and answer any questions you may have.

5) Consider enrolling in our Therapy Dog Class (for dogs, cats, mini horses, bunnies or pocket pets! ) to gain the knowledge and skills needed for the Pet Partners evaluation.  This is a one of a kind class that students say is the most valuable part of their preparation!

6) Complete the Pet Partners Handler Course. Health Heelers students are advised on how and when to proceed     with this required Pet Partners course.

7) Complete your Pet Partners team evaluation. As a Health Heelers student, you will be directed to an upcoming    Pet Partners evaluation.

8) Register with Pet Partners. After passing your team evaluation, handlers receive the step-by-step registration process from Pet Partners to become an official therapy animal team.