What is a therapy pet?

JacksonA therapy pet provides affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, people with learning difficulties, and to those in stressful situations, such as disaster areas through friendly, non-judgmental interactions.

Pets on Wheels therapy pets must pass a temperament screening to be certified. However, they are not service animals and do not have the access to public spaces that service animals do. Therapy animals and service animals are not the same, nor do they enjoy the same rights.

Our therapy pets come in all sizes, breeds and species. Any animal that passes the temperament screening may qualify – we do not limit our therapy teams to dogs or cats.

Because we accept a wide variety of animals into our program, we do not offer nor require any specific training for a companion animal to become certified as a therapy pet. However, for our canine teams, we find that basic obedience training and completing the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test is a sound base. AKC also offers Therapy Dog titles – you can find more information here http://www.akc.org/events/title-recognition-program/therapy/ .