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Animal-Assisted Therapy FAQ's

Volunteering

What if I don’t have a pet? Can I still volunteer with animal assisted therapy?

Yes! We need volunteers to go with each Paws Can Heal team on their animal assisted therapy visits. The volunteer escorts are a critical part of the Paws Can Heal Program. They help keep our patients safe, gather data on all therapy visits and help the team assist the patient to achieve treatment goals. All prospective volunteers must become a Phoenix Children's In-Hospital Volunteer. Visit the website to learn the requirements to join.

Watch a short video about our animal assisted therapy volunteer escorts!

How can my pet and I be a therapy animal team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital?

First, you and your pet become nationally registered as a therapy animal team. Our Paws Can Heal therapy animal teams are nationally registered and have 6 to 12 months of experience as a therapy animal team in a healthcare setting. 

How can my pet and I become a nationally registered animal assisted therapy team?

There are several national organizations that evaluate and register therapy animal teams. They will test you and your animal. Your pet will need to be calm and predictable, pass basic obedience skills tests, and be comfortable in a variety of settings and environments. Phoenix Children's recognizes the following registration organizations:

www.petpartners.org

www.tdi-dog.org

www.therapydogs.com  (Alliance of Therapy Dogs, formerly known as Therapy Dogs Inc.)

My pet and I are already a registered assisted therapy animal team. What is our next step?

Once you have six to twelve months experience as a registered therapy animal team, your next step is to become a Phoenix Children's In-Hospital Volunteer. Visit the website to learn the requirements to join, which usually takes about two to three weeks to complete.

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