How to Get Involved

We expect the therapy animals in our program to be polite and have good manners, but the outstanding quality of a therapy animal is that he or she genuinely enjoys meeting new people and actively seeks out their affection.

Not Just for Dogs!

While dogs may be thought of as the most common type of therapy animal, ARL’s TheraPets program also assesses cats, birds, rabbits, and other small animals. All types of pets have comforting abilities and can make a difference in someone’s life.

Requirements for your Pet

  • Be at least one year of age (6 months for rabbits/guinea pigs)
  • Lived in your home for 6 consecutive months
  • Be on parasite prevention program plus annual intestinal parasite screenings (as applicable per species)
  • Annual physical exams by a licensed veterinarian
  • Current on all required vaccinations (as applicable per species)

Requirements for ARL TheraPets Volunteers

  • Be at least 18 years of age (minors aged 16-17 can be junior handlers if accompanied by parent/guardian)
  • Attend ARL TheraPets Program training workshop
  • Have own reliable transportation

If you think that you and your animal could be a great addition to our group, join us at an upcoming workshop and submit an application!

The full procedure to become a TheraPets volunteer can be read here.

TheraPets Application

What if I qualify for a Service or Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
The ARL recognizes the companionship and comfort an animal can give. We are happy to work with you through our normal adoption process and procedure if you're looking for an ESA. However, we do not provide any type of certification/training for any assistance animal.

ARL TheraPets are not service animals. Rather, they are ARL volunteers’ personal pets that are invited into both public and private places to provide comfort, relaxation and enjoyment to others. To learn more about the difference between pet therapy animals and service animals, including emotional support animals, click here.