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WHATProvides registration, support, and insurance for those involved in volunteer animal assisted activities.
WHYTo form a supportive network of people and their pets working in animal assisted therapy.
WHERETherapy Dogs Inc.
Jack Butrick –Founder. Headquarters in Cheyenne, WY., USA.
Program available across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories.

Program Description

Animal assisted activities can take place in nursing homes, assisted living, other long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools and other facilities.

Therapy dogs must be able to interact safely with senior residents, nursing home staff, and visitors. They must be able to tolerate high traffic areas, be around a variety of smells and medical equipment.

Therapy dogs are personal pets which must meet requirements of good socialization, good health, and be able to pass testing and evaluations.

In order to participate in animal assisted activities, therapy dogs must:

  • Be at least one year of age
  • Be good around other dogs
  • Listen to their handlers
  • Allow strangers to touch them everywhere
  • Not jump on people when interacting
  • Walk on a leash without pulling
  • Not mind strange noises and smells
  • Be calm for petting
  • Not be afraid of people walking unsteadily
  • Be current on all vaccines required by the local laws
  • Have a negative fecal test every twelve months
  • Be clean and well groomed

Any dog of any breed or mix of breeds meeting the requirements is considered to be a therapy dog. 

In order to be registered the pet owner and pet must have passed supervised visits in nursing homes or the chosen facility.
A membership application and fees are submitted followed by acceptance and registration.

Therapy dogs are not considered service dogs. Service dogs help the elderly or disabled to perform daily tasks and access public places.


Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program - Program widely available across the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and several other countries.
Trains pet owners and pets on how to visit nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, physical therapy centers, long-term care facilities and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Dogs International Nursing Home Program - Across the USA and areas in Canada. Provides free visits of dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospices and other facilities to provide animal assisted therapy, an interactive nursing home activity and to give companionship to elderly.

People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
Certified pet handler volunteers take their pets to visit elderly in nursing homes.

FriendshipWorks PetPals Program - Boston Massachusetts, USA. Arranges for pets (cats and dogs) and their owners to make friendly visits providing animal assisted therapy to elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

ASPCA - Animal Assisted Therapy Program - New York, USA. Pet owners can register their dogs and cats for animal assisted therapy and visit elderly in nursing homes, hospitals, classrooms, libraries and other facilities.

New Orleans Visiting Pet Program - New Orleans, USA. Animal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and other facilities.

Intermountain Therapy Animals Program - Utah, USA. Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy teams visit seniors in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Alzheimer's Care Units, Hospitals, Veterans Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Centers and many other facilities.

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Find out more about the "Therapy Dogs Inc." Program

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