Frequently Asked Questions
Could your dog be a therapy dog?!
Hand in Paw is one of the country’s largest therapy pet organizations! Although we have over 100 teams in the Greater Birmingham area, we still have more requests for therapy pet teams than we have partners to service them. If you can answer “yes” to most of the questions below, we want to talk to you about joining us!
Do you think your pet would enjoy interacting with children of various ages?
Does your pet accept vigorous petting and touching of the ears, feet, tail and mouth by strangers?
Does your pet accept a stranger putting their arms around it in a full body hug?
When in a group of people, does your pet engage with others without clinging to you or hiding behind you?
Have you and your pet completed a basic obedience class?
Can you commit approximately 16 hours of training in preparation for becoming a Hand in Paw Therapy Team?
Are you prepared to commit to at least two one-hour visits for Hand in Paw each month once you are an official Hand in Paw Therapy Team?
Hand in Paw dogs:
Demonstrate good basic obedience skills: Walk nicely on a leash, come when called, sit and down on command, stay when asked, do not jump up on people and do not “mouth” people or their leads.
Enjoy meeting strangers, and are not shy.
Are not afraid of other dogs, nor are they aggressive. They are more interested in being petted by the people they are visiting than they are in playing with the other dogs in the group.
Are not afraid of moving equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, or other unusual objects or loud noises.
Are controllable, even in situations that are somewhat chaotic, like in a park with children playing, or in a gymnasium full of loud elementary school students.
If you think you and your pet would enjoy and be suitable for therapy work, please contact us! Kim Crenshaw, Director of Volunteers; email@example.com; 205-322-5144 ext 155.