Become a Pet Partner Team with TAU
As Utah’s only Delta Society/Pet Partners® affiliate (http://www.deltasociety.org or http://petpartners.org), all of our training classes and team evaluations are conducted by licensed Delta Society/Pet Partners instructors and evaluators. If you have your own appropriate companion animal - dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, domestic rat, hook-billed bird, pot-bellied pig, horse or llama you can join us to become registered as a Delta Society Pet Partner Team. By joining TAU and Delta/Pet Partners you will be covered by Delta Society/Pet Partner's liability insurance policy whenever and where ever you volunteer with your “Pet Partner®”.
There are four steps to becoming a registered Pet Partner Team:
- Train the “Human-End” of the leash by attending a Pet Partners Handler Training Course.
- Team Screening/ Evaluation of your human-animal teams’ skills and aptitude.
- Health screening of your animal partner by a veterinarian.
- Submit your registration application to the Delta Society/Pet Partners.
As a Pet Partner Team you have the considerable expertise of the internationally recognized Delta Society/Pet Partners® behind you. Delta Society literally "wrote the book" on Animal-Assisted Therapy and continues to be the leader in the development of the field. Becoming a registered Pet Partner Team means you will have peace of mind with Delta/Pet Partner's two million dollar liability insurance policy behind you when you volunteer with your animal. This policy does not cover you when you work in a professional capacity with your animal. Due to a high level of confidence in Delta Society/Pet Partners standards however, many employers prefer a Delta Society/Pet Partners registered team when they agree to cover you while working in a professional setting.
An outline of the steps to become a Pet Partner Team for dogs is below. Please contact the director for more information on registering cats, birds, rabbits and mini-horses or other domesticated species at : email@example.com
Step 1: Training the Human End of the Leash
Attend the eight hour Pet Partner Handler's Training course held at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, UT and also at the George E. Wahlen Veteran's Home in Ogden. TAU now offers the new eight hour, one day interactive course instead of the 12 hour course that iwas conducted over two or more days. Upcoming classes will be listed in the ‘Events’ box on our homepage. The cost for this course is $65.00, which includes the Delta Society/Pet Partner Student Manual, lunch and all handout materials.
Step 2A: Before Evaluation - Basic Obedience (for dogs)
Your dog should know and reliably follow basic obedience commands, be controllable, reliable, inspire confidence in the clients they visit and enjoy interacting with and being touched by people. Basic obedience commands include ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘heel’, ‘come’ when called and ‘leave it’. ‘Leave it’ is a very important command to protect your pet from possibly ingesting something harmful during a visit.
Although many dogs have good manners at home, your dog must also behave in varied situations, around distractions, loud noises and around different people. These things are illustrated in athe Pet Partner Handler's Training Course (Step 1).
We want you and your dog to succeed! Though not required by TAU, you and your dog are encouraged to attend a ‘beginners’ class before signing up for a team evaluation. Most clubs/facilities offer the opportunity to take the American Kennel Clubs (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) when you and your dog have completed the class. Any breed/mix is eligible by Delta Society/Pet Partners - your dog does not have to be a purebred to achieve this distinction from the AKC. When your dog passes the CGC test he/she will be well prepared for the TAU team evaluation and you will receive a Canine Good Citizen certificate from the AKC suitable for framing.
Step 2B: Team Screening / Evaluation
After you complete the TAU Handler's training course and you feel your dog is ready, sign up for a team evaluation. This is an assessment of the handler and animal partners in various situations common to what therapy teams will encounter. The evaluation takes 30-45 minutes and are scheduled throughout the year. TAU charges $25.00 for the team evaluation – the fee is good for three attempts should the team be deemed ‘not ready’ in one or more areas of the skills and aptitudes outlined by Delta Society/Pet Partners. Should you be deemed 'not ready', the evaluator will give feedback on what needs to be improved before you and your pet return at no additional cost.
Step 3: Health Screening
Your animal must be current on all required vaccinations and have a complete health screening form completed by their veterinarian.
Step 4: Join Us!
After completing the above steps, submit your paperwork to Delta Society/Pet Partners to become a registered Pet Partner Team and a member of the Delta Society/Pet Partners. The cost for joining Delta Society for two years is $95.00. This is reduced to $50.00 for two years if you also join TAU (because we are a Delta/Pet Partner afilliate). Therapy Animals of Utah’s annual dues are $35.00 (dues are reduced for seniors, students or the disabled). TAU provides mentoring for all of our new teams and ongoing support for our members. TAU periodically conducts continuing education classes for our members free of charge.
Therapy Animals of Utah - 801-280-1855
PO Box 18771, Salt Lake City, UT 84118