PAWS Therapy Dog Volunteers

How To Apply


PAWS Therapy Dogs Program assessment evaluations for new volunteer teams are conducted 3 to 4 times a year. Prior to participating in the PAWS Therapy Dogs Program, all dogs and handlers must meet the following prerequisite requirements.

Teams must meet the following criteria:

  • Volunteer handlers must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All dogs must be at least one year old and owned by the handler for six months by the evaluation date.
  • Handler and dog must complete all required steps in order to evaluate.
  • All dogs must be spayed or neutered 1 month prior to training.
  • Dog must be a pet and may not be a service dog, ESD, ESA or any form of support dog.
  • Volunteer/dog must not be currently affiliated with or volunteering in another pet therapy program.
  • Volunteer must provide copy of COVID-19 Vaccination  records showing full vaccination series and booster(s) (required by facility locations)
  • All handlers must complete and pass a background investigation.
  • Volunteers have 6 Months to complete the remainder of the process after attending orientation.
  • Dogs must not be shy, resentful or demonstrate any signs of aggression toward people or other dogs.
  • OC Animal Allies Program Steps:
    1.      Attend an Orientation (without dog).
    2.      Attend a Handler/Training Observation class (approximately 90 minutes).
    3.      Attend and pass our Evaluation testing for suitability.
    4.      Attend our Handling and Policies class immediately following your evaluation pass.
    5.      Complete online test on policies and handling before the first probationary visit.

We reserve the right to excuse teams who do not meet program requirements and criteria or who are not a good fit for the program. Participation in orientation and paid membership does not guarantee certification and no refunds of material, membership or program fees will be made. All decisions of the evaluation team and Director are final.

For adequate preparation of program schedule, reservations and membership deposit is required and space is limited.

Please complete the form below to register your spot today.

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We are a local independent organization and do not receive any government funding.  We are dependent on the financial support from people like you.

A Big Thank You