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PPCNY frequently asked questions


How do I know if my dog/pet would make a good therapy animal? Should I consult a trainer?

To be part of a therapy team, your dog/pet does not need any formal, documented training. Your dog/pet DOES need to be able to follow basic commands, genuinely enjoy interacting with people, and have a calm, confident disposition. For more information, click >🐾

How much does it cost to become a therapy team?

The Handler course is $40 in person with PPCNY or $80  online through the national website (

PPCNY does not currently charge for the evaluation.

PPCNY 2-year membership (per household) is $25.

PP National registration is $50 for 2 years

      (a discount for being a member of PPCNY)

Financial Aid is available. Use Contact Us to request details.​{Pet Partners relies on charitable donations and sponsorships

to continue to make the program possible.}​

Can I take my therapy dog/animal to work?

Recently Pet Partners created an affiliated organization called the Association of Animal-Assisted Intervention Professionals or AAAIP. It was developed to address the needs of professional health care providers, educators, and others to gain the knowledge needed to safely and ethically practice animal-assisted interventions while advancing the field. For more information, click >🐾

Can my therapy dog/animal and I help out in emergency situations?

Yes. Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams. Pet Partners AACR teams are trained and credentialed to provide emotional comfort and support to people affected by the impacts of crisis events in their communities. For more information, click >🐾

Are there breed restrictions?

No. However some sites/facilities may impose those restrictions. {Pet Partners of CNY reserves the right to choose not to fulfill a request to a site/facility that chooses to restrict breeds.}

Is there an age limit for my animal?

All animals except “pocket pets” must be at least one year old. Rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats must be at least six months old. There is no upper age limit but your animal must be able to comfortably and safely meet the typical requirements of a therapy visit.

Can I volunteer with more than one animal?

Yes. However, you must pass an evaluation with each animal.

Can my child volunteer with our animal?

Yes. The minimum age is 10. However, all those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or another adult who is appointed by the parent or guardian must accompany handlers on all visits. The parent/guardian must be present at the evaluation. Those under 18 must have parent/guardian permission to participate in classes and evaluations. 

Can one animal have more than one handler?

Yes. However, each handler must pass the class and evaluation.

What is the difference between Therapy Animals, Service/
Assistance Animals
and Emotional Support Animals?

Assistance Animal: An animal individually trained
to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Emotional Support Animal: A pet that provides
therapeutic support to a person with a mental illness.

Therapy Animal: A pet that can provide physical, psychological, and emotional benefits to those with which they interact. For more information go to 

What makes a therapy animal different

What is the difference between Pet Partners and other therapy animal

Since PP teams have the freedom to set up a visitation program at a facility of their choice nationwide, PP has consistent high standards for all their teams. Handlers must pass a training class, teams must pass an evaluation to become nationally registered and then pass an evaluation every 2 years to maintain their active status. For more information go to 

Is there a difference between Registration and Certification?

Therapy animal teams are registered but not certified. Certification implies that an independent third party has assessed an individual’s mastery of knowledge and skills.

Can I be a registered team with more than one organization?

In order to be fully covered by Pet Partners’ GCLI policy, volunteers must represent Pet Partners and may not affiliate with another organization that offers the same programs. If you are interested in joining another organization that offers services different from what PP offers, it is best to contact PP directly. (

Can I feed my therapy animal a raw diet?

No. There is concern from medical professionals that humans, especially those with compromised immune systems, may be at a higher risk of infection by interacting with animals who eat raw meat diet and treats. 

Why do I need permission from my vet to participate in the Pet Partner Program?

Therapy animals may both be exposed to infectious agents because they visit people in healthcare facilities and be a potential source of infectious agents for people they visit. Your animal’s veterinarian is the best person to judge the health of your animal.

Does Pet Partners train animals to become Therapy Animals?

No. Pet Partners trains handlers. Your animal needs appropriate obedience skills and the two of you need to demonstrate that you can work together and use these skills to be safe and reliable during therapy animal visits. For more information click > 🐾

What kind of equipment can I use for a Pet Partner Therapy Animal?

What is the READ to ME Program?

Please go to Become a Team for a complete response to this question.

What is the WALK with Me Program?

Please go to Become a Team for a complete response to this question.

Reminder: We are not a service dog organization and do not train service or emotional support dogs for individuals

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