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Therapy Dogs

Volunteer with your Dog


Therapy dogs are pets that love to interact with people and be petted. They visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, participate in "Read to a Dog" programs at schools and libraries, and more.
Therapy Dog Teams (handler & dog) must be assessed by and registered with an organization such as Pet Partners. The local Pet Partners group is called Therapy Animals of Southern Arizona - visit their website to learn more about the steps to becoming registered with Pet Partners. (If you would like a visit by a Therapy Dog Team, please contact Therapy Animals of Southern Arizona).

Therapy Dog Classes:

Classes emphasize handler/dog teamwork while you learn and practice obedience and other skills needed to become a therapy dog team, & help to understand whether your dog has the temperament and desire to do this type of work.

Drop-In Classes

  • Fridays 11:00-Noon NO Class March 20, March 27
  • Saturdays 9:30 - 10:30 am NO Class March 14, March 28

$20 per one-hour class. You can attend one or as many classes as you wish, no commitment. Please bring shot records & training treats (small, 1/4" pieces of good smelly treats like cheese, hot dog, meat, Natural Balance roll, etc.).

Therapy Dog Drop-In Class Registration or you may fill this out the day of your first class. 

Eligibility for all Therapy Dog classes:

  • Dogs must have some previous basic obedience training - if not, please attend the Pet Dog classes instead;
  • Dogs must have proof of health and required vaccinations;
  • All dogs must work on a 6-foot or shorter leash; collars and leashes must not have linking metals parts on them;
  • Dogs in heat are not allowed on Handi-Dogs' premises;
  • We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read these documents, prior to enrolling:
  • FAQs - provides more information about all the steps to becoming a Pet Partner, including 2-year registration fees paid directly to Pet Partners, upon passing the Handler Course and Evaluation.
  • Pre-Requisites for becoming a Pet Partner - great self-assessment tool to determine if you think your dog and you will enjoy and be appropriate for this type of volunteer work.
  • The Skills and Aptitude tests for the Team Evaluation.

 To enroll or if you have more questions - email service@handi-dogs.org or call 326-3412.

*Important Notes
Therapy Dogs do not have universal public access rights. They can only enter facilities for which you have prior approval.

To become a registered Pet Partners therapy dog team, you must complete their Handlers Course (withOUT your dog) as well as pass their 22-part evaluation. You can find Handlers Course offerings at: www.TherapyAnimalsAZ.org

Taking this course does not guarantee you will pass the Pet Partners evaluation to be eligible to become a registered Pet Partners Therapy Animal Team.





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