Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization and Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. (C.A.T.), would not be what it is today without their hard work and dedication. In order to become C.A.T. certified therapy team, you and your dog friend must meet the following requirements:
- You must have owned your dog for at least six months.
- Dogs must be at least 1 1/2 years old.
- Dogs must be spayed or neutered.
- Dogs must be current on all vaccinations. Proof of current health certificate from your veterinarian is required at the time of application and at vaccine expiration.
- Dogs are required to have passed the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) within the last two years prior to the evaluation. The CGC test may be obtained through any CGC certified evaluator. Testing fees vary by evaluator.
- C.A.T. therapy team evaluations are provided at no cost. All potential teams will be evaluated by trained evaluators. This evaluation is performed prior to joining the organization and will help determine if you and your dog have the temperament and personality to become C.A.T. certified.
C.A.T. follows the background and screening requirements for the State of Florida and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
- All volunteers over the age of 18 must submit to a Level II criminal background screening, which includes fingerprinting and FBI national check. The current fee for this is $59.00 and is payable to the screening agency (required every five years). Applicants under the age of 18 must have parental or legal guardian consent for membership.
- Full Membership – $95 annual membership fee includes one dog, insurance coverage as a volunteer under the C.A.T. general liability insurance, one C.A.T. t-shirt and one dog bandana.
- Supporting Membership Fee (second handler working with the same dog) – $50 annual membership fee includes insurance coverage as a volunteer under the C.A.T. general liability insurance, one C.A.T. t-shirt and one dog bandana.
- Additional Dogs – $25 annual fee per additional dog.
ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
- Facility placement – we take great care in placing our volunteers in facilities that have been screened by our staff. It is important to us that you are comfortable and happy in your assigned facility and that you not only meet the needs of the facility, but the facility also meets your needs as a volunteer. For a full list of approved facilities, read Facilities Served.
- Continuing education – we encourage our members to participate in continuing education opportunities. These programs will be offered at no charge or a minimal fee to C.A.T. volunteers, and will often be open to the public. Continuing education programs are designed to help volunteers better understand their canine companions and the people they serve, and include regularly scheduled (CEU Credit) seminars, dog training classes, dog health and care classes, and many other exciting and educational programs.
Ready to begin the process of becoming a certified therapy team? Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for an upcoming Volunteer Orientation.