Becoming a Therapy Team
The human-animal bond.
Animals, especially our own pets, have been known to help us in our everyday lives, such as providing affection and comfort when we are ill or emotionally compromised. Because of the bond that humans have with animals, the therapy pet is becoming more popular in various settings. They seem to have a relaxing and therapeutic effect. Animals help individuals cope with their emotions, invoke pleasant memories, divert attention from the problems of the day, de-stress, and so much more.
If you think that you and your pet could bring joy into the lives of others, please continue reading. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Having a certified therapy pet does NOT give you "permission" to take your pet anywhere such as restaurants, airplanes and retail establishments. We will NOT certify your pet so that you can take your pet on a plane or to live in a certain type of housing. We also do not certify, raise or train dogs to be service, emotional support or companion animals.
I want to become a therapy team! What do I need to do?
A number of steps are required to become fully certified as a therapy pet team with Love On A Leash. These steps include successful passing of the required LOAL control evaluation, completion of ten required supervised visits, and submission of the application and forms as required by the national guidelines.
Note: Dogs CANNOT be evaluated or visit with a prong collar, chain choke collar, or an electronic collar. Acceptable collars: Flat, buckle, or martingale
Treats CANNOT be used during evaluation or on supervised visits.
Dogs CAN be evaluated and visit with a Gentle Leader, Halti, or while wearing a harness.
What are the steps to becoming a certified therapy team?
Step one: Successfully pass the Control Evaluation for Dogs. This evaluation can be done by anyone certified to do the AKC Canine Good Citizen test or any certified dog trainer/behaviorist. You can find a list of AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluators here. Please contact us for the current control evaluation & guidelines.
NOTE: NO PRONG COLLARS, CHAIN CHOKE COLLARS, OR ELECTRONIC COLLARS ARE ALLOWED FOR THE EVALUATION OR ON VISITS!
Step two: Do 10 hours of supervised visits with a current LOAL member at an authorized LOAL facility. Five of the ten visits need to be with a mentor. Treats CANNOT BE USED on supervised visits. You may be asked to do additional supervised visits as needed.
Step three: Successful final visit evaluation by your mentor.
Step four: Complete the LOAL Membership Application. Read EVERYTHING and then send it in! The application cannot be mailed in until ALL other requirements have been met.
You have one year from the date of the Control Evaluation to complete your 10 (ten) supervised visits AND to submit your application.
Please email us for the required documents at
What is the commitment level for being a therapy team?
At this time, the only commitment is that you have one year from the date of the initial control evaluation to complete your 10 supervised visits and submit the application. That is it!
The facilities we visit have a set schedule for us to visit and it can be anywhere from one day a month to every week. It all depends on the facility. It is up to you on how much time you want to visit. Most members find that while they do not anticipate visiting often, they end up visiting places on a regular basis because they enjoy the happiness that their visits bring (and they have fun)!
Will I visit by myself or with a group?
While you are going through the 10 supervised visits to become a certified therapy team, you will be visiting a certified LOAL member who will be your mentor through the process. The mentor will be with you on your first three in-training visits and possibly more. While visiting with the mentor, you will probably be visiting alongside other teams as well.
Once you are an official therapy team, you can visit by yourself or with others. Most of the time, there will be a group visiting together. If there is a large number of teams visiting the same facility, we will usually split up to cover more ground.