Jupiter Tequesta Dog Club is excited to work with Sunshine on a Leash in educating the community about the increasing demand and benefits gained when therapy dog teams volunteer in schools, medical facilities, senior centers, and more. If you and your dog have an interest in this rewarding volunteer work, here are a few important first steps to note:
Solid and steady obedience skills are a must in evaluating a dog’s potential for therapy dog work. Walking on a loose leash and the ability to follow basic commands consistently (sit, down, stay, come, leave it) even in distracting situations are required.
Healthcare and educational organizations invite therapy dog teams for visits at their locations who have successfully passed the evaluation process. These visiting sites follow strict protocols to protect patients, families, students, and staff. Your willingness to follow these protocols (typically background checks, health screenings, required attire, and a commitment to a consistent visit schedule) are important to keep in mind. Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. has local evaluators and is one of several national therapy dog registration/certification organizations recognized by the AKC.
Also, while therapy dogs provide an amazing service during their visits with patients, families, students, and staff, the laws and protections granted to service animals do not apply to therapy dogs. Please do not confuse a therapy dog certification with gaining access to places or services to which your dog currently does not have any rights. Therapy dogs do not have any special privileges outside the facilities they visit.
If interested, you will find this volunteer work a rewarding experience as a team. The people you’ll meet are so appreciative of your time as you and your dog brighten their day. Please visit Sunshine on a Leash for more information and to learn the next steps in the process.
Exams are always stressful but some empathetic therapy dogs made the experience more bearable for some FAU students. Several amazing therapy dogs took some pressure off the students at "Pet-A-Pup" at the Jupiter Tequesta Dog Club on the FAU Campus in Jupiter. It's hard to tell who enjoyed it more - the students or the dogs!