How do I Become a Pet Partners Team ?
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 5 steps outlined below.
Step 1 – Register and take the Pet Partners Therapy Animals Online Course. Why?
The Therapy Animal Handler online course is where you begin your Pet Partners journey. It provides information and training that will prepare you to volunteer effectively with your animal as a Pet Partners therapy animal team in a variety of environments. It also provides the advantage of fitting your busy schedule. Once begun, you have 12 months to complete the course. This course takes the place of the handler workshop; you do not have to complete both. Passing either the in-person or online allows you to take the next steps to becoming registered. **Note – Denver Pet Partners is not offering the instructor-led Handler Training Workshop in 2020.
STEP 2 – Take and pass the Pet Partners Online Assessment test upon completion of the course. Print a Completion Certificate.
STEP 3 – Denver Pet Partners highly recommends enrolling in the half-day instructor-led workshop we will offer in 2020 – “Handling Skills for Safe Visits: Preparation for your Team Evaluation and Beyond.” Why?
Developed by Pet Partners, this half-day workshop will start with the things you’ll need to demonstrate in order to pass your Pet Partners team evaluation and we’ll also go through a list of ‘what to expect’ logistics to help put your mind at ease.
Then we’ll review skills for different situations you’ll experience when you start visiting. We’ll talk through and even walk though different scenarios to prepare you to think on your feet.
Everything we talk about in this workshop can be applied broadly to any species and all breeds. We all know every animal is different, but good handling skills can be universal. You’ll still be paying attention to the same things and working to ensure you are always being your animal’s best advocate.
Our goal is that you are a well-prepared handler in a wide variety of situations, not just for your evaluation when you know what someone is going to say and do. We will review skills that will be scored on the evaluation as this mini workshop is definitely designed to set you up for success for your evaluation and beyond.
**Note – There is no assessment required for completion of this course. Enrollment in this workshop is optional and not required by Pet Partners.
Before registering for the Therapy Animal Handler online course be sure to thoroughly review the Program Requirements and the Policies and Procedures to ensure this is a good fit for you and your animal.
- Therapy Animal Handler online course – You will register through the Pet Partners Volunteer Center, ‘Courses and Events’. Click here to login or create one if needed.
- Handling Skills for Safe Visits: Preparation for your Team Evaluation and Beyond – You will register through the Pet Partners Volunteer Center, ‘Courses and Events’. Click here. For dates/locations and to register/pay with Denver Pet Partners, go to this page
STEP 4 – Pass the Pet Partners Team 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 5 times per year. For the schedule on upcoming Denver area evaluations, click here.
STEP 5 (optional) – Become a Member of Denver Pet Partners
Once you have completed steps 1, 2, 4, and 5 you are a member of the national Pet Partners (PP) organization. Step 3 is optional but highly recommended by Denver Pet Partners.
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.
- Monthly e-newsletter “DPP Connections”.
- 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 Partners Member click here for the Membership form.
STEP 6 – Submit Necessary Documents to Pet Partners to Register as an AAI Team
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.
This includes asking your veterinarian to complete the Health Screening form that may be downloaded from the Pet Partners website and is part of the Pet Partners registration process. This form must be submitted within 12 months of the Veterinarian’s exam of your animal. All vaccinations should be up to date as required by state law. Results of a fecal exam must be included in your pet’s health screening.
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.