Are there any restrictions on the size and type of animal for your therapy teams?
Pets on Wheels accepts all animals who pass our Temperament Screening as members of our therapy teams, regardless of breed, size or species, although some facilities may have some restrictions.
Service animals may be cross-certified as therapy pets with Pets on Wheels, however it is up to their handlers to develop a mechanism for indicating to the public and their pet when they are working as a therapy pet and when they are working as a service animal. Therapy pets DO NOT have the same rights and privileges as service animals; those are reserved for when the animal is performing its service function only.
Does Pets on Wheels train or certify service or emotional assistance animals?
Pets on Wheels does not train or certify animals. If you are interested in training or certifying a service or support animal, we suggest you visit the following sites for information:
Does my pet need to have a health screening before participation as a therapy pet?
As required by the Maryland State Health Department, your vet must fully complete a Pet Health Certificate to certify that your pet is healthy and up to date on all vaccinations, before your pet can be screened or participate in the program.
The health certificate must be updated and submitted annually. This is a condition of Pets on Wheels membership and the continuance of pet therapy visits, as well as attending Pets on Wheels events with your pet.
Can I bring more than one pet for a therapy visit?
We have a one animal per handler policy, although more than one person may accompany a therapy pet on its visits. There are very rare exceptions available for animals with special needs – if this applies to your pet, please contact our Executive Director for a special exception review.
Is there a particular collar or leash required for a pet visit?
Please note that NO metal collars or leashes are allowed while making therapy visits, including pinch collars, metal martingale collars and leashes with metal chains at the end. This is a safety precaution to ensure that delicate skin is not injured while petting our therapy animals. We recommend cloth collars and leashes (retractable leashes are not allowed due to safety concerns), fabric harnesses or head collars of any type. Metal buckles, snaps and clasps are permitted.
What are the vaccination requirements for my dog or cat?
Our current policy on vaccinations states that rabies and distemper are required for all dogs and cats. We will accept the one or three year rabies vaccination and we will also accept one or three year distemper (if approved by the veterinarian).
Leptospirosis and parainfluenza vaccinations are to be given at the discretion of the veterinarian.
If there is a medical condition or other reason determined by your veterinarian, we can accept annual titers for distemper with a letter from your veterinarian stating why the titers were run and that he or she accepts responsibility for their accuracy.
We cannot accept titers for rabies.
We also require a yearly fecal test. The results must be negative. If the pet tests positive, before a health certificate will be accepted, proof of a negative fecal test is required.
Pets on Wheels brings the joy of friendly pet therapy to people all over the state of Maryland. Regularly visiting nursing homes and hospitals to assisted living facilities, homeless and domestic violence shelters, veterans’ hospitals, libraries, schools, colleges, corporate campuses and more, Pets on Wheels volunteers improve lives and help lick loneliness one visit at a time.