Certified Pet Therapy Program

To Participate

There are many organizations that offer pet therapy dog testing. Taking this class does not guarantee you will pass any test. Some of the organizations that offer pet therapy testing are: Bright and Beautiful, Therapy Dogs International, Pet Partners, and of course, the Monmouth County SPCA. Each organization has their own requirements and it is strongly recommended that you take a look at what is requested.  The Monmouth County SPCA offers Humane Education Programs to school children and Scouts with a program called “It’s Cool to be Kind.” We also have a “Read to Dog” program at select libraries that encourages children to practice reading, by reading dogs! In addition, we have teams that visit nursing homes, rehab centers, children’s centers and other venues that ask for visiting teams. Most centers need visits during the week during regular business hours, so availability during the week is helpful. We also request that you do at least two, one hour visits per month. 

  • Step 1: To participate in any Monmouth County SPCA programs you mus become a become a volunteer. At orientation, you will be able to sign up for our Pet Therapy Program. We will be in touch when we have our quarterly Pet Therapy Orientation.
  • Step 2: You will attend a handler’s class with your dog (or any domestic animal). This class is free, and teaches you how to keep your pet out of harms way. All potential therapy animals must be present for one of these classes prior to testing. They must be able to remain calm, cool, and collected during this hour long class.
  • Step 3: You and your domestic companion animal are tested as a team. Your animal may only participate in any SPCA progams with you. If there is more than one member of the family that wishes to participate in the program, each person must test with the animal.
  • Step 4: All members will receive a pet therapy badge with a picture of you and your pet! Congratulations!

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The Monmouth County SPCA offers two distinct classes for individuals interested in participating in our Certified Pet Therapy Program:

  • Handler’s Class: For humans only. You will learn the do’s and don’ts of visiting a Senior Facility, proper protocol when interacting with groups of young children, other opportunities for visitations, and what to expect during the Certification Test. This class will run approximately thirty minutes.
  • Pet Certification Class: We will evaluate and test you and your pet. If you pass, we will issue a badge, a bandana for your pet, and Certification paperwork. You will be required to submit your pet’s vaccination records.

You must be 18 years old to participate.

Pet therapy pets need to know basic obedience, be good in crowds, with kids, other dogs, loud noises- over all be very well rounded and calm in nature. We are looking for people that have open schedules who can take their pets to senior facilities and hospitals. The Pet Therapy Team also partners with our Humane Education Team and visits schools, scout troops and other kids programs.

Next Pet Therapy Class:

March 2nd, at 6:00pm!

$120 ($100 for rescue dogs)IMG_1923
This class will be four, 1 hour sessions to prepare you and your dog with
skills needed to take a pet therapy test.
Prerequisite: all participants must know basic commands and be good with other dogs
To sign up, please contact Kathy@monmouthcountyspca.org
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