|Cats, rabbits and birds will be tested on the portions of this test that are applicable to that species. These pets will be subjected to intensive and repeated handling.
Pets must have a Canine Good Citizen certificate through the American Kennel Club prior to applying to Pet Therapy of the Ozarks.
|Here is a brief overview of the testing program PTO has developed to determine if your pet can become a therapy pet. You will be asked to take your pet for a walk thru our community and demonstrate the skills needed for being a Good Community Citizen. Seven different stations will be manned by evaluators who appraise the handlers’ and pets’ ability to adapt to situations they will experience on a therapy visit. Your pet will be asked to walk on a loose lead, sit, down and stay during any of these stations.
Station One: “At the Vet” You will meet a stranger who will examine your pet’s hair, nails, feet and teeth. Your pet must remain calm and not jump on the stranger. You will be asked to put the pet in a stay or down position, walk away from the pet, then call the pet.
Station Two: “Walking Our Pet” Handler and dog will begin walking on a loose leash and will encounter moving people, alone or in crowds, with or without other pets.
Station Three: “A Surprise” The pet must pass a distractions such as treats, toys, or a ball. They will also hear a loud noise.
Station Four: “Meet and Greet” The pet will heel as you approach a stranger with a dog. Your dog must sit while you visit and shake hands with the stranger.
Station Five: “At the Hospital” You and your pet will meet a person reclining on a cot, using crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, and a cane.
Station Six: “Behavior Unit” You and your pet will approach and pass through a group of “patients” displaying behaviors consistent with those found in some facilities.
Station Seven: “Separation” An evaluator will stay with your pet while the owner is away for a brief period of time.