FAQs & Forms

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.

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:



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.

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.

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 recommended due to safety concerns), fabric harnesses or head collars of any type. Metal buckles, snaps and clasps are permitted.

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.

Since we accept other species of friendly pets, we will determine health certificate requirements as needed for each particular species.

Please email the appropriate local coordinator for information.

To become a Pets on Wheels volunteer, you will need to fill out our volunteer application and submit your pet’s health certificate. Once that is received and entered into the system, you will be invited to a temperament screening. You may attend whatever screening is most convenient for you – you do not have to attend the one in your area only. Once your pet passes the temperament screening you can begin your work as a Pets on Wheels’ Therapy Team.

To request ongoing therapy pet visits, you will need to register your facility and a facility coordinator. To request therapy pets for a one-time event, such as a wellness fair or expo, fill out an event request. Please note that we cannot visit individuals in private homes due to insurance requirements.