What is a Love on a Leash Chapter?
A Chapter, though unique in personality, should reflect the purpose and function of Love on a Leash® – to support and guide certified pet therapy teams and teams in training, upholding the organization’s high standards and values. As subsidiaries of the national organization, Chapters are not “groups”, “clubs”, or “teams” presided over by individual members; they are formed to provide a single point of contact in the community for potential members as well as facilities seeking pet therapy visits. Chapters offer mentorship, socialization (pet and human!) scheduled group visits, and sometimes additional training opportunities for members. Each chapter has a leader or two co-leaders, who serve as ambassadors of Love on a Leash in their communities, mentor teams in training, and coordinate visits at local facilities.
Love on a Leash® chapters come in various sizes and activity levels; depending on the community, as a chapter grows outward two neighboring chapters may be formed. Neighboring chapters maintain their own regular visit schedules and share resources when there is a larger event like a fair. Chapter Leaders keep in contact with each other and share each other’s news when appropriate. It would be against our purpose and philosophy to become cliquish or selective in chapter formation; all certified teams should be welcomed to affiliate with any chapter or participate in group visits. Membership in multiple chapters is permitted for members who live near more than one chapter or those who have seasonal residences.
Benefits of Joining a Chapter
While Love on a Leash® members are never required to join a chapter, many of our members find that affiliating with their local chapter(s) enhances the Love on a Leash experience. A Chapter provides support, motivation, and social interaction for members and their pets. More teams mean a greater variety of pets, talents, and interests. Visiting together can help relieve the sometimes stressful aspect of the work; sharing visit experiences also provides new members the opportunity to be mentored by more experienced members. Additionally, it is good to be assured that other members will visit a facility if you are unable to go on a scheduled visit. Members are welcome to affiliate with multiple chapters near their permanent residence, or in different cities if they have seasonal homes. There are never additional fees for members to affiliate with Love on a Leash® chapters.
Chapters may not implement additional rules or requirements that contradict or negate National Love on a Leash® Guidelines. Chapters should make participation as easy as possible for all certified Love on a Leash® teams and must regard other certified Love on a Leash® members they meet within their communities with courtesy and respect, honoring their decision to not join the chapter. No Love on a Leash® member may be required to go on a minimum number of visits or attend meetings or social events to maintain their certification. Chapters may not generate their own merchandise, as the Love on a Leash® logo is trademarked; all members may purchase our official merchandise through the Member Area on the national website.