Before getting started, it’s very important for you to take a look at the following resources to help you decide if the program will be a good fit for you and your pet. Thoroughly review the Program Requirements and Policies and Procedures (linked below). Take a moment to make sure Pet Partners program is established in your area by checking out the calendar below or running a quick ZIP code search.
Many of our volunteers also find it very helpful to first attend a Volunteering with Your Pet webinar to learn more from a current volunteer.
Create your online account in the Volunteer Center–you’ll need the account for each step of your registration. Once you’ve completed your registration, you’ll log in to find additional resources, tools, and support.
The key to safe, effective visits is the training for the “human end of the leash”– you. The Handler Course is not an animal training course. Instead, you’ll learn your responsibilities and expectations for successfully volunteering as a Pet Partners handler in any facility you wish to visit.
The course can be taken either in-person, if a volunteer instructor lives in your area, or online. The in-person course is a great opportunity to ask questions of an experienced Pet Partners volunteer and make connections in your local community. However, there might not always be a course in your area at a time that works in your schedule, so the online course is a great alternative.
You must complete and pass either the online or in-person Handler Course before attending your team evaluation.
Our Animal Health Screening Form will be signed by your veterinarian, confirming that your animal is healthy and able to participate in the program. The form is available as part of your online registration process. Only the official Pet Partners Animal Health Screening Form is acceptable documentation to meet this requirement.
This is the moment of truth when you and your pet demonstrate that together you are able to conduct safe and effective visits. The team evaluation is a simulated therapy animal visit conducted by a Pet Partners volunteer team evaluator. Remember, you must complete and pass your Handler Course before the date of your team evaluation.
To finish up, complete a Background Check via an email request from The Advocates at Sterling Volunteers on behalf of Pet Partners.
I have confirmed that Pet Partners is available in my location.
“Registering with Pet Partners has provided Jester + I were the blessed opportunity to bring joy and comfort to folks. It is a gifft to share Jester's skill with people and make a difference”