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  Therapy Dogs, Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Activities Resources

This section covers web sites providing information on how to train for visits, how to start your own group, or academic studies.

Most academic or scientific level information (studies, surveys etc.) are available in book form, or from bound journals available at university and college libraries. Expect to either have to pay for the materials or find them in a University library. An extensive bibliography (with links to book you can buy) is available at

One popular book is Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog To Reach Others by Kathy Diamond Davis, another is Pets In Therapy by Kris Butler. If you are a professional counselor or therapist planning on including pets are part of your theraputic program a more appropriate book is Professional Applications Of Animal Assisted Interventions: Dogwood Doga (SECOND Edition)
by Melissa Winkle (Editor).

Please use the links provided and read the web sites listed before writing to any with questions.

Getting started and registration resources

The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.

The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. evaluates, tests, trains, qualifies and supports therapy dogs. Teams passing the screening and evaluation can register with the group to get insurance coverage, guidance and support and other benefits. Training classes to enhance visit skills are also available.

Therapy Dogs International, Inc.

Therapy Dogs International, Inc. (TDI) is a volunteer group organized to provide qualified handlers and their Therapy Dogs for visitations to institutions, facilities, and any other place where Therapy Dogs are needed. Based in Flander, New Jersey, this organization certifies dog and handler teams across the United States, Canada and some other countries. This web site describes the testing and certification requirements.

Pet Partners

Delta provides instructors or training materials to teach the skills needed to visit safely with an animal in hospitals, nursing homes, classrooms, and other facilities. Regular publications keep participants up to date on emerging issues, research, and a wide variety of information on the human - animal relationship. With successful completion of the registration requirements you get liability insurance, referrals to facilities, newsletters and continuing education opportunities as well as networking support. A wide variety of animals may be registered under Delta's program. For articles and abstracts check out Pet Partners' page on Health Benefits of Animals.

Also see The Delta Society in Australia

R.E.A.D. c/o Intermountain Therapy Animals

Reading Education Assistance Dogs was launched in Salt Lake City in 1999 and now has registered teams operating in 49 states, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. R.E.A.D. is a literacy support program in which children read with dogs to help build their reading and communication skills, as well as their love of books and the reading environment. Home study materials are available (training manual and 25-minute training DVD), and workshops are also offered throughout the U.S.

The Chimo Project

The Chimo Project facilitates Animal Assisted Therapy in Edmonton and across Canada. They offer training for professionals, administrative support for facilitites looking to start AAT programs and certification for volunteer animal/handler teams. They have published two manuals: Animal Assisted Therapy in Mental Health and Animal Assisted Therapy programs for children with FASD and Developmental Disabilities.

Therapy Dogs Inc.

The home page for Therapy Dogs, Inc. has some interesting pages on zoonotics (diseases transmittable between human and animal) as well as the temperament testing form. Therapy Dogs, Inc. offers certification to dog-handler teams passing testing and evaluation.

Center for Human-Animal Interaction

The Center for Human-Animal Interaction provides a formal structure promoting interdisciplinary and interinstitutional research, clinical practice, and educational activities related to the human-animal relationship.

Online Therapy Dog Training

This is a course for people who are interested in becoming a working team in the area of visitation and/or assisted activities training their own dog to become a Therapy Dog and pass a Therapy Dog Certification Course.

International Association of Canine Professionals

The IACP assistance in the development of effective therapy dog programs for animal service providers, health care providers and educators who include dogs as modalities in their work. Resources are also available for volunteers who handle their dogs in clinical and educational settings.

Angel Halls

Angel Halls is dedicated to creating Professional Animal Assisted Therapy Dog Teams utilizing canines from rescue situations. Provides workshops for teachers that demostrate how to take a child?s natural attraction and interest for animals and develop it into a humane attitude. Offers training and support for individual professionals who would like to in corperate AAT into their programs. Includes an early readers series to help educate children about working dog, plus tips slide shows and other fun stuff.

Dogs On Call, Inc

Two-day Pet Partners Training Course sponsored by Dogs on Call Inc. designed to provide the knowledge, tools and assistance needed to become a Pet Partner Team.

Central Ohio Therapy Dog Training Center, Inc

Central Ohio Therapy Dog Training Center, Inc is a non-profit 501 3c organization with the sole purpose to train & educate & to prepare for what to expect as a future therapy dog team. Our training provides a Star Puppy Class, basic obedience class and a handler/dog team training program. We are located in Columbus Ohio and soon to open a 5,000 sq. ft. training facility with a simulated hospital room/ children's reading room and a therapy dog handlers training program. Our goal is to help to prepare owners and their dogs for what will be expected prior to testing to be registered. We also offer the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
101 Creative Ideas For Animal Assisted Therapy

101 activities, animal-related songs, booklists, and recipes. It also has an index that connects these activities to numerous therapeutic goals.

Center for Companion Animal Health

Web resources supporting human-animal bond education

Research in Human-Animal Interaction

Scientific abstracts and articles on anthrozoology. 


(In Italian) AIUCA has been involved in Animal Assisted Programmes since 1995 and in training courses since 1998 AIUCA is Italian Representative and European Ambassador for Pet Partners, offers the Pet Partners training, evluation and registration and also specialisation courses for handlers and human health professionals.

Prescription Pet Program

This site offers its guidelines and protocols to groups interested in starting a similar program. A video may be ordered which shows how animal-assisted therapy and visitation can benefit not only the patients, but the health care facility that supports the program as well.

People-Pet Partnership

The People-Pet Partnership Program is a public service activity of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Nicely done site, it offers publications on starting a therapy dog program. In 1999 the program began research on the beneficial effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy for people with Alzheimer's' Disease and Autism

Latham Foundation

This organization provides pamphlets, books, and videos on various aspects of the human-animal bond. If you are looking for research support on the how visiting animals benefit patients, seniors and others, this it the place to start. The Latham Letter is published regularly to address studies and emerging issues. When last visited this web site did not provide full access.

Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments

This site expands beyond the "meet and greet" and includes guidelines for resident dogs at long term care and assisted living facilities. Also includes lists of research projects.

Classroom Animals and Pets Research - Articles and Papers

This site collects resources for the classroom teacher. This page contains some research papers on pets in the classroom.

Looking for a Pet Partners instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area?

This isn't actually a group's web site but one from a Pet Partners instructor in the San Jose - Santa Cruz area offering workshops and Pet Partner Certification.

Paws 4 Therapy, Inc.

Offers resources in persuading administrators and health personnel on the value of pet visitation and therapy programs. Provides policies and procedures and a training program.

Northeast Rehab Hospital Animal Facilitated Program

This site, maintained by Linda Hume, is a really great, very complete site for information on taking animals into health care facilities. . Here are just some of the many topics covered:
Profile of an Appropriate Therapy Dog
Communicating with Confused or Sensory-impaired People
Safety Guidelines
Infection Control in Animal Facilitated Therapy
Stress in Therapy Dogs

Pearl Salotto - What is PAT?

A detailed description of Pet Assisted Therapy.

Animal Assisted Therapy Program, University of North Texas

An extended training program in AAT. What is Animal Assisted Therapy?Center for Animal Assisted Therapy, University of North Texas. A professional level article by Dr. Cynthia Chandler (with academic references) outlining the history and value of Animal Assisted Therapy.

Paws Partners, Inc.

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing therapy dogs to those who wish to discover the enrichment that dogs can bring. We provide certification testing to all prospective members (handler and dog) and insurance to those certified and active members of the organization.

Anima Link, Inc.

This organization, based in Sanford, Michigan offers courses and materials for everything from implementing and coordinating visiting animal programs to training and screening the participants. Workshops and seminars enhance the skills of registered teams. Included in the offerings are courses established under the guidelines of the Pet Partners. When last visited this web site did not provide full access.

Hudson Valley Humane Society's Visiting Pet Program

This group provides Delta training and testing, safe handling workshops, insurance and networking opportunities in the Rockland County, New York, area.

Upper Michigan Dog Therapy Project

This Marquette, Michigan organization offers a variety of services to educate and train individuals, volunteers, professionals and organizations in a wide variety of aspects of setting up and maintaining a pet therapy program.

Assistance Dog Institute

This organization is based in Rohnert Park, California. When last visited this web site did not provide full access.

World of Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal-Assisted Activities

Provides getting stated information and professional, academic level resources.

Paws 4 Peds

Implemented programs and conducted case studies in adult and pediatric settings 

Healing Paws

This group based in the Kirkland, Washington area provides consultation and training to assist facilities in developing an Animal Therapy program. When last visited this web site did not provide full access.

Dreamworkers, Inc.

This site describes the certification process they use for their volunteer teams.

Paws'itive Teams, Inc, Therapy Dog Prep School

This is not a certification program but a preparation program

Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta

This group provides volunteer training and publishes "PAWS In Your Facility: A Guide To Planning Your Pet Therapy Program," a manual to assist facilities

Therapet Animal Assisted Therapy Foundation

This organization based in Whitehouse, Texas, promotes animals assisted therapy through education and training of health care professionals, evaluation and training of animals and human volunteers, and support in establishing programs across the country. This site offers a variety of publications, seminars, and professionally developed videos.

Animal Assisted Crisis Response Association

The AACRA is a nonprofit organization maintaining a registry of therapy dog/handler teams available for crisis response. They serve as a clearinghouse to connect qualified dog-handler teams with service agencies responding to a crisis situation.

Barking Hills Country Club

Active in Pet Assisted Therapy programs and can be a resource for your group or facility.

Paws and Think, Inc

Paws & Think is a non-profit organization focusing on the at-risk community, both human and canine.

Courteous Canine

Occasional evaluations for Therapy Dogs International, located in Ardsley, New York

Paws For Friendship, Inc

This group certifies its own volunteers to visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities, Veteran's Center, hospitals and hospices. Music alert!

Mid South Therapy Dogs

"Mid South Therapy Dogs" offers PET PARTNERS® training workshops in Tennessee

Pawsibilities Unleashed Pet Therapy of Kentucky

Offers a training course and certifications.

K9 Buddies Certification Path 

The certification process includes a specific training and evaluation requiement outlined here.

Happy Tails Therapy Dogs

Offers a free Therapy Dog Training Workshop at the City of Bushnell Florida Public Library at various times throughout the year.

More Therapy Dog Resources from Dogwise Books    


Return to top          Stories and Articles         Organizations            Networking         Help .

The following links may also be of interest:

(1)  Identify your team as a visiting pet or therapy pet team with custom shirts or pin buttons. Promote visiting pets with a variety of visiting pet/therapy pet apparel, tote bags, bumper stickers and more.

DogPlay's Visiting Pet Stuff

Check the other articles on therapy dogs, visiting pets and related topics.Oso icon to visiting pet index

Also see Books and Publications - How to train your dog, how to start a program, and more.
Help finding information of visiting pets and therapy dogs
Lost? PageList lists all the DogPlay pages. Check the Help page. Help


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Copyright © 1999-2009, Diane Blackman     Created: February 12, 1999     Updated December 29, 2012    

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