Following are some commonly asked questions about Love on a Leash®. Please feel free to contact Love on a Leash® if you don’t see your question listed.

Frequently asked questions


  • Please refer to the Become a member section of this website. Further information, definitions, and steps to membership are also located at the beginning of our Guidelines.
  • Download an application for dogs, or cats and rabbits, for detailed requirements for each pet.
  • Any Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Obedience Instructor, or Certified Animal Behaviorist is approved to perform the Control Evaluation.
  • Love on a Leash does not recommend or affiliate with specific trainers or facilities.  
  • No. While very similar in content, your pet must pass the Love on a Leash® Control Evaluation regardless of any other testing or certification obtained.
  • In most cases, the AKC evaluator can administer our Control Evaluation at the same time they administer the CGC testing.
  • There are many good dog trainers around. While not required, basic obedience courses are a good idea. Some trainers offer specific courses for Therapy Dog preparation.
  • Love on a Leash® is not affiliated with and does not endorse or recommend any specific pet training resources. A quick internet search for “dog trainers in city, state” will yield a suitable list.
  • If you are in an area where there is a chapter, contact the chapter leader. Go to the Chapter Search page on this website; enter your zip code to find the closest chapters.
  • If there is no chapter near you, email National Love on a Leash® to see if there are any certified “at large” members nearby who are available to supervise you. If there is no one within reasonable proximity, then we will assist you with obtaining approval for a non-Love on a Leash® substitute.
  • You must obtain prior written approval from National before beginning any visits with a non-Love on a Leash® supervisor; upon pre-screening, a form will be shared with eligible applicants, which must be completed, signed (by both applicant & substitute supervisor), and approved by National. This approved form must then also be included with the application packet.
  • You may not go on visits unless you are accompanied by a certified Love on a Leash member or a substitute who has been pre-approved by National Love on a Leash®.
  • As long as you are not an employee at the facility or a long time volunteer, approved venues for supervised visits include but are not limited to senior assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, rehab facilities, school de-stress events, reading programs at libraries and elementary schools, and special education visits at schools or adult care facilities (e.g. Group Homes or Assisted Living). (Love on a Leash® therapy pet teams also visit veterans care facilities, dental practices, hospitals, clinics, etc, but those usually only welcome certified teams, and some require extra steps/hoops to jump through, so we do not usually recommend those for teams-in-training.)
  • Teams in training may not be supervised at hardware stores, pet stores, malls, fairs, festivals, and similar public venues or events. If you are not certain whether a visit is appropriate, please ask.

Any certified, active Love on a Leash® member is qualified to supervise teams in training. If the person who administered your Control Evaluation is also a certified, active Love on a Leash® member, they are permitted to supervise one or two of your initial in-training visits, however, it is preferred that the Control Evaluator does not supervise any in-training visits to ensure objectivity in our rigorous certification process. If there is no active Love on a Leash® member available, please email National Love on a Leash® to request pre-approval of a substitute PRIOR to beginning your supervised visits.

  • To determine if there is a chapter in your area, go to Chapter Search area under the Chapters dropdown menu on this website. Enter your zip code to find the closest chapter(s).
  • If there is no chapter near you, email info@loveonaleash.org and ask if there are any “at large” members in your area.

No. Love on a Leash® certifies personal pets with their owners to become pet therapy teams, and is not involved with training or locating animals who may be good candidates for pet therapy. We have no involvement with Emotional Support or Service animals.

  • If there is a chapter in your area, contact your local Love on a Leash® chapter to request a visit.  To determine if there is a chapter in your area, go to the Chapter Search area of this website, under the Chapters drop down menu above. Enter your zip code to find the closest chapter.
  • If there is no chapter near you, email info@loveonaleash.org and ask if there are any “at large” members in your area who might be able to visit.
  • Members of other organizations are welcome to join Love on a Leash® as well; however, they must follow the same steps to certification. Pet therapy memberships do not transfer from one organization to another.
  • Love on a Leash® members may go on visits alongside teams that are certified by other legitimate pet therapy organizations, provided they abide by all Love on a Leash® guidelines.

Please contact National Love on a Leash®.  All concerns and suggestions are received in confidence and addressed on a case by case basis.


  • For new membership applications, please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.
  • For membership renewals and other purchases, please allow up to 2 weeks to receive your IDs and/or merchandise.

You will receive an email reminder from our automated service during the first week of the month your membership is set to expire (your expiration date is printed on your ID cards). Please check your spam or junk folder if you do not receive it.

There are two options for renewal (we do not accept any form of payment over the phone):

  1. Renew online. Go to the Member Login area and log into your account. You will be asked for your Member ID (located on your membership card) or your email address and Password. Once you have logged in, click “Membership Renewal” on the left and follow the instructions. Select “Submit and Continue to PayPal” to complete payment. A PayPal account is not required. There is an option to pay by debit/credit card at the bottom of the PayPal login window. No additional fees will be charged.
  2. Request a renewal form by emailing info@loveonaleash.org; print it and mail it back to us with a check. If you do not have a printer, please ask us to mail your renewal form to you. Please allow sufficient time for USPS, since you cannot visit with expired IDs.
  • If you are less than 30 days overdue, you may renew without penalty.
  • If you are more than 30 days overdue you may still renew, but there is a $15 late fee.
  • If your membership has lapsed for more than one year, you are considered “inactive” and must repeat the entire certification process. Download a new application and follow each step to become a member again.
  • Whether you are Overdue or Inactive, you may not go on any visits until you have valid IDs in your possession, as our insurance only covers Active members.

This occasionally happens if your renewal times out, you submitted your renewal but did not pay, or if you try to go back to a previous page. Email us if this happens to you, and we will reset your account so you can log in again. Please do not keep trying, as that will lock your account for a full hour.

  • First, ensure you are using the correct Member ID#; it must be yours, not your pet’s.
  • If you are still unsuccessful, email info@loveonaleash.org or leave a voicemail at (760) 740-2326 for help. Email is the fastest way to get a response, as our voicemail is retrieved less frequently.
  • All teams in training and certified teams are covered by our liability policy; visit the “Is This Right For Me?” page for details about coverage.
  • Our Certificate of Liability Insurance is available under Helpful Documents in the member area of our website. It renews each year in September.
  • If you are a team in training, and a facility you intend to visit requests a copy of our Certificate of Liability Insurance, email info@loveonaleash.org.
  • If a facility wishes to be added to our insurance policy as an Additional Insured, they must submit the paperwork and $50 fee. The form is available under Helpful Documents in the member area of our website.
  • You must be a current, Active Love on a Leash® member to buy merchandise.
  • Some items (vests, bandanas, replacement ID cards, etc.) are purchased directly from Love on a Leash®. Go to the Member Login area and log into your account using your Member ID and Password. Click on Order Merchandise in the left margin, and select the item you are interested in.
  • If you are looking for items such as trading cards, bookmarks, logo’d shirts, jackets, hats, masks, etc. there are links to our official vendors on the Order Merchandise page.
  • Only our authorized vendors may reproduce our logo, so members may not create their own. Official patches are available and can be sewn on your own shirts, vests, etc. 
  • If there is a problem with the items you received directly from Love on a Leash® (ID cards, vests, certificates, etc.) send an email to renewals@loveonaleash.org or leave a voicemail at (760) 740-2326 describing the problem.
  • If there is a problem with merchandise ordered through one of our vendors, please contact the vendor directly.
  • Replacement ID cards are $6 each and may be ordered from the Order Merchandise page of your Member account. See “Where can I buy Love on a Leash® merchandise?” above.
  • No. Members may not accept anything of value. We are volunteers and visits are always free.
  • Unsolicited donations must be conferred to the National Love on a Leash® organization. All checks must be made payable to Love on a Leash®. Chapters are required to mail any donation checks to:

Love on a Leash®, PO Box 4548,

Oceanside, CA 92052-4548

Attn: Treasurer

Please refer to the Donation Policy section of our Guidelines for details. Questions should be referred via email to treasurer@loveonaleash.org.

  • Log in to the Member area with your Member ID and password. Once logged in, you may edit your mailing address, contact information, photos, etc.
  • Some information (names and pet updates, for example) may only be updated by Love on a Leash®. Please email  info@loveonaleash.org to request these changes.
  • If your work permits it, you may do so. Note that when members are at work, they are not volunteering and are therefore not covered by the Love on a Leash® liability policy. As such, members who bring their pets to work should not be representing themselves or their pets as Love on a Leash® therapy pets.
  • All therapy teams are volunteers. Love on a Leash® is not affiliated with any for-profit entities, therefore, Love on a Leash® trademarks or apparel may not be worn during any activity that involves payment of any kind. If you, as a handler of a therapy pet, are at work with your pet or working in any capacity, then the Love on a Leash® trademarks and apparel must be removed from the handler and pet until the therapy team’s activity is clearly volunteer only.
  • We do not remove any members (human or pet) from our database. If we are notified of a pet’s or handler’s passing or retirement from Love on a Leash®, we change the status from Active to No Renew. This stops the renewal reminder emails that members receive.
  • A member who loses or retires a pet has the option to become a Continuing Member with Love on a Leash®. You will keep your ID number so that if you choose to certify a new pet, you simply select the “Current/Continuing Member Adding” a pet option on your application. A Continuing Member is subject to a $15 annual renewal fee and may continue supervising teams-in-training on their visits.
  • No; guests are never permitted on Love on a Leash® visits. We know how much fun visits are; of course we are all proud of the work we do and would love to share the experience. However, because a pet therapy team is defined as one member and one pet, our insurance does not cover members in the event of an incident if a guest accompanies the team during visits. It is important that our focus during visits is on our pet and the person we are visiting. Even when two people are certified with the same pet, they may not go on visits together with that pet.

Love on a Leash® makes it a practice to let each member decide for themselves whether they are comfortable going on visits in all circumstances, such as the COVID pandemic and the recent canine respiratory illness. Local veterinarians are the best source of guidance regarding pet health issues in each geographical area and for each specific pet. Members should always check with their physicians about any concerns related to their own health. We respect each member’s right to consider their unique situation when deciding whether they are comfortable visiting under any circumstances.

Please contact National Love on a Leash®.  All concerns and suggestions are received in confidence and addressed on a case by case basis.


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