How do I Become a Pet Partner?
IMPORTANT: Before you start on your journey, be sure you understand all the requirements to become a registered team by reviewing this page on the Pet Partners website.
To become a registered Pet Partners team, you need to complete the 4 steps outlined below
Step 1 – Register and take the Pet Partners Handler Training course
There are two options for taking this class – online or in an instructor-led classroom setting. See what people say about our instructor-led Handler Training Course!
We highly recommend taking the instructor-led, classroom style Handler Training course. Why? When learning in an interactive classroom led by an experienced, licensed instructor, you have the valuable opportunity to:
- learn and discuss the material with other students
- observe site visit techniques
- get tips and practical advice from experienced teams
- practice in simulated situations through role plays
We have also found potential Pet Partners who take the instructor-led course are:
- better prepared
- more confident teams
- have a better chance of passing the evaluation requirement (Step 2) the first time.
(We believe the online handler training course is a good option for those who do not live in an area where classroom courses are offered or for those unable to attend a ‘live’ course.)
Set yourself and your animal partner up for success… Take the classroom training! The cost of the instructor-led Handler Training course is $100.
Instructor led classroom style: Click here to view the schedule and register
Online class (you will need to register on the Pet Partners Volunteer Center): Click here
Step 2 – Pass the Evaluation with your Animal Partner
Pet Partners has established a set of objective criteria for determining if you and your pet are ready to effectively serve as a Pet Partners team. In this step you are both assessed for skills and aptitude. The evaluation process also provides valuable input for determining in which visiting environment your team is most likely to be happy and successful.
Animal-handler teams must pass the Pet Partners Skill Test (PPST) and the Pet Partners Aptitude Test (PPAT) administered by a licensed Team Evaluator. Denver Pet Partners offers evaluations 3 to 4 times per year. For the schedule on upcoming Denver area evaluations, click here.
Most licensed Pet Partners Team Evaluators are listed by state on the national Pet Partners website. If there is no Evaluator in your state, please contact Pet Partners and they will help you find an evaluator.
Step 3 – Complete Animal Health Screening
All animals involved in our programs must be healthy. Your Veterinarian must complete the Health Screening form we provide and is part of the Pet Partners registration process. This form must be submitted within 12 months of your Veterinarian’s exam. All vaccinations should be up to date as required by your Veterinarian. Results of a fecal exam must be included in your pet’s health screening.
Step 4 – Complete Your Registration with Pet Partners Online
Once you have scored as “Ready” on the evaluation, you must register as a team with Pet Partners (national organization) by following the instructions in the Online Team Registration Overview.
The completed registration and the registration fee (click for current registration fees), must be submitted online to Pet Partners within 90 days of the team’s evaluation. The registration fee covers the cost of your ID badge and a collar tag for your animal. Your permanent badge and tag for your animal will arrive three to four weeks after receiving your acceptance letter from Pet Partners. Once you have received your acceptance letter, you are officially a Pet Partners team and are permitted to conduct visits as such. In order to remain active as a registered team with all the benefits (e.g., insurance coverage) you must be re-evaluated every two years in order to renew as a Pet Partners team.
Step 5 (optional) – Become a Member of Denver Pet Partners
Once you have completed steps 1-4 you are a member of the national Pet Partners (PP) organization.
We are Denver Pet Partners, a community partner (or affiliate) of the national organization. There are many benefits to joining Denver Pet Partners (DPP) including reduced registration fees to national Pet Partners (PP): When you join Denver Pet Partners at $45 the first year (and $25 annually thereafter) your registration through PP is discounted. This discount more than pays for your annual membership with DPP. DPP also places a high priority on supporting our Teams. This support includes:
- An additional $1 million dollars of liability insurance.
- Quarterly meetings featuring guest speakers who present relevant and topical information. These meetings also provide members the opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges of volunteer activities and other DPP business.
- Continuing Education and workshops in collaboration with the University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection and other professionals to enhance our individual skills and learn more about the populations we serve.
- Individual consultation and shadow opportunities both before you begin your volunteer activities and ongoing.
- Periodic e-newsletter “The DisPPatch”.
- Networking Opportunities: DPP’s membership is made up of individuals whose professional and personal backgrounds are quite diverse and interesting. It is likely you will find new friends and professional exposure through participation in DPP activities and with like-minded people.
To become a Denver Pet Partner Member click here for the Membership form.