Health Heelers Co-Founder, Therapy Dog Savard
Share the love your pet gives with others.
Volunteer with your pet.
Many domestic species such as cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses and birds can be trained to be therapy animals. While most therapy pets are dogs, there is no specific breed of dog that makes the best therapy dog, nor is there a breed that is disqualified from being a therapy dog. An animal's social behavior and temperament are far more important! If you have a pet that adores interacting with strangers and is confident and well behaved, you may want to give volunteering with your pet some thought.
ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD THERAPY ANIMAL
Enjoys meeting people; is exceedingly sociable and friendly
Will initiate contact with strangers and want to remain engaged and interested
While interested and enthusiastic, maintains calm and control
Is comfortable and confident in unfamiliar settings including those
with new and/or excessive sounds, sights and smells
Is comfortable being crowded by a group of unfamiliar people
Is comfortable being touched; at times awkwardly
Exhibits desirable behaviors predictably, reliably and readily
Is well-mannered with other animals
A pet's attributes and skills are enhanced though our therapy animal classes, while handlers learn the critical skills of observing and supporting their animal for success. Potential therapy animals learn new behaviors and gain exposure to the types of interactions and experiences they will encounter when volunteering.
If you feel your pet has or can develop these attributes, review the Steps to Becoming a Therapy Animal Team and complete the Application to request a pre-screening today!