Therapy dogs are owned by our volunteers and are specifically trained to perform quality pet therapy visits at local health care facilities. Allowing your dog to give a little unconditional love to residents of nursing homes or patients in local hospitals will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It will be an activity that your dog will grow to eagerly anticipate. You will have the opportunity to see people smile who seldom find a reason to smile. Volunteering with our Therapy Dog Program is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your special dog.
Click here to learn more about Rocky “The Healer” one of our therapy dogs.
Fidos Dogs Educating & Assisting Readers (aka DEAR Program) is a venture by Fidos For Freedom, Inc. that is taking place in local schools and libraries. Fidos DEAR Program improves reading skills by encouraging children to read one-on-one with a Fidos Therapy Dog and Trained Volunteer. To learn more about this program see our DEAR page.
Becoming a Therapy Dog Team
A therapy dog team consists of one dog and his/her handler. Therapy dogs are owned by our volunteers and are specifically trained to perform quality pet therapy visits at local health care facilities when accompanied by their owners and/or to participate in our community education program.
Do you like:
- Your dog giving unconditional love?
- Doing an activity that your dog will grow to eagerly anticipate?
- The opportunity to see people smile?
Then becoming a Fidos Therapy Team might be for you.
The first step is to sign up for the next Therapy Dog Testing Day our Fall testing is now full but we will be announcing Spring testing dates soon. To sign up, contact us or email us at therapydogs@fidosforfreedom.
Opportunities for Therapy Dog Teams Include:
- Visits include the following types of facilities:
- Autistic Adult Day-Care
- Nursing Homes
- Local Hospitals
- Family Support centers like the Ronald McDonald House and Johns Hopkins Children’s House
- Special Needs Children’s School
- Cancer Center
- DEAR Program (Dogs Educating & Assisting Readers)
- Demonstrations, Information Booths and fund raisers for Fidos
Therapy Dog Team Requirements
Before becoming an official therapy dog team, there are several requirements that each member of the team must meet. The following requirements ensure the safety and well-being of the residents, patients and children that we visit.
- Therapy Dog Testing
- Handler Classes
- Veterinary Requirements
- Attendance/Participation/Training Requirements
Now just how would someone participate in a canine-focused organization with the name “Fidos” in it if they didn’t have a dog themselves? Simple, they could become a dogless handler! Dogless handlers are those folks who don’t have dogs of their own, but handle someone else’s “extra” dog. What do we mean by “extra” dog? Glad you asked! Fidos regulations require that we have a 1:1 human-canine ratio for any event we attend. That means one dog per person. Well, some folks have more than one dog in the program. Thus, they’re often left with the dilemma of leaving one of their Therapy Dogs at home. This is where a dogless handler comes in. A dogless handler would accompany the Therapy Dog team on their visit and handle the “extra” dog! See our Dogless Handlers page for more information.