Become a Therapy Team

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The Process

  1. Introductory Handler Training Seminar
  2. Obedience Class
  3. CGC Certification
  4. Readiness Screening
  5. Handler Training Workshop
  6. Complete Animal Health Screening
  7. Therapy Team Evaluation
  8. Complete Your Registration

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop
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Step 1. Introductory Handler Training Seminar
This class is an overview of therapy animal work and is designed for the prospective handler only.
Dogs are NOT INCLUDED in this seminar. You must attend a Seminar to enroll in the Handler Training Workshop.

This training seminar will focus on:
Introducing Delta Society's® Pet Partners® Program
How to become a registered therapy team
The meaning of "animal-assisted interactions (AAI)"
The responsibilities of being a therapy animal handler.

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop

Prerequisite: For the Handler Training Workshop
Successful completion of this instructor-led course is required to become a Mid South Therapy Dog therapy team.
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Step 2. Obedience Class
In order to be eligible for Handler Training Workshop, a dog should be mature and have a stable, friendly temperament; dogs that show any type of aggression will not be     allowed into the class. The course is open only to dogs that have completed Obedience Class  (preferably at Dog Woods), or the equivalent elsewhere, within the past six months before the start of a Handler Training Workshop.
Handler Training Workshop registrants are required to attend a readiness screening with their dog in order to be admitted to the workshop (screening may be waived at the discretion of the instructor).  Registrants will be given an appointment time and feedback will be shared at the time of screening.

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop
Prerequisite: For the Handler Training Workshop
Successful completion of this instructor-led course is required to become a Mid South Therapy Dog therapy team.
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Step 3. AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification
 Dogs must also have earned their AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification (must provide a copy to the registrar) before they can be placed on the waiting list for the Handler Training Workshop.  Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends offers the CGC.  Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling testing. 

E-mail : info@midsouththerapydogs.org

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop

Prerequisite: For the Handler Training Workshop
Successful completion of this instructor-led course is required to become a Mid South Therapy Dog therapy team.

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Step 4. Readiness Screening
Handler Training Workshop registrants are required to attend a readiness screening with their dog in order to be admitted to the workshop (screening may be waived at the discretion of the instructor).  Registrants will be given an appointment time and feedback will be shared at the time of screening.
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Step 5. Handler Training Workshop
The handler training course is taught by experienced Delta Society licensed Instructors. It gives you the distinct advantage of learning from and asking questions of an experienced AAI Instructor, plus you will benefit from interacton with classmates, discussion groups, media and role playing.

If you consider the number of years you intend to serve as a Pet Partner, the investment of time and cost spent taking a workshop it is well worth building this solid foundation that you will need to be an effective team for years to come. The goal of our classes is to fully prepare you and your animal to be the best possible team you can be.

The Handler – Your needs and responsibilities; your animal's role; client rights considerations, Code of Ethics for AAA and AAT; Policies and Procedures;

The Animal - Learn what makes an animal team suitable; understanding the expectations and preparing for the Delta Society team evaluation; 

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop

Prerequisite: For the Handler Training Workshop
Successful completion of this instructor-led course is required to become a Mid South Therapy Dog therapy team.

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Step 6. Complete Animal Health Screening
Animals involved in the AAA and AAT programs must be healthy, fit and competent to meet the demands of being an actively working therapy animal.   Vaccinations must be up to date as required by your Veterinarian and local/state laws, and the results of a recent (within 6 mos.) fecal exam must be included in the health screening.   Your Veterinarian must personally complete the Health Screening Form which is a part of the registration packet which is found in the Delta Society Manual.  This form must be submitted within 6 months of the Veterinarian's exam.
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Step 7. Therapy Team Evaluation
In this 22-exercise evaluation, conducted by an experienced Delta Society-licensed Pet Partners team evaluator, you’ll have an opportunity to demonstrate what you've learned in the handler training course and discover if you and your animal have the capability, desire and potential to safely and reliably participate in animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy programs.

All domesticated animals are eligible to become a registered therapy team.

Overview of the Team Evaluation Process:

Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test
The Team Evaluation process evaluates the animal/handler team; how well the handler interprets and manages the animal's behavior and how well the animal responds to the handler. The main emphasis being that the animal is under control at all times. This process is the safest way to identify acceptable visiting teams.

Team Evaluations consist of two parts:

Pet Partners Skills Test (PPST)

Pet Partners Aptitude Test (PPAT)

For Registration forms and additional course details go to: Handler Training Workshop

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Handler Training Workshop
Successful completion of an evaluation by Mid South Therapy Dogs is required to become a therapy team.

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Step 8. .Complete Your Registration
Once you have scored as “Ready” on the evaluation, you must submit the following paperwork to Delta Society in order to become registered as a Pet Partner (all the paperwork can be found in the back of your training manual or can be downloaded from the Delta Society website, www.deltasociety.org:

Photo ID Form, Application Form, Volunteer Policies and Procedures/Indemnity Agreement Form, Volunteer Review, Handler’s Questionnaire, Animal Health Screening Forms, Volunteer Contact Form, and the Team Screening (evaluation results). 

The completed registration packet, including the completed PPST and PPAT evaluation forms, and the registration fee (click for current registration fees), must be mailed in to Delta within 90 days of the team's evaluation. The registration fee covers the cost of you ID badge and a collar tag for your animal. Your permanent badge and tag for your animal will arrive three to four weeks after receiving you acceptance paperwork from Delta.

Once you have received your badge and certificate of registration from Delta Society, you are officially a Pet Partner team and are permitted to conduct visits as such (congratulations!).  In order to remain active as a registered Pet Partner with all the benefits, e.g. insurance coverage, you must be re-evaluated every two years in order to renew as a Pet Partners team.  

PLEASE NOTE: PPSAT score sheets expire after 90 days from the date evaluated.

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Upcoming Team Evaluations
Upcoming Courses

Step 2 - Health Screening