What is pet therapy?

A therapy animal is a pet that is trained and certified with its owner, as a team, to provide comfort and stress relief in a variety of situations.

Love on a Leash® certifies therapy pets

Therapy Pets are different from Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals. In this area you will find a chart that summarizes the allowed activities for each type of animal. You’ll also find definitions and detailed descriptions for each type of animal.

A therapy pet is…

A therapy animal is a pet that is trained with its owner, as a team, to provide comfort and stress relief to others in a variety of situations.

Therapy pets are personal pets; they work as a team with their handler to provide comfort and happiness to others. Therapy pet teams volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, private homes – anywhere they are invited. Therapy pets may also help individuals achieve physical and educational goals; petting or walking with a dog may help increase mobility, and reading to an animal may build a child’s confidence.

Therapy pets are most often dogs, but can be animals of other species. Therapy dogs are working dogs (dogs with jobs), but they are not Service Animals. Federal law does not legally define therapy pets and they do not have any legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Love on a Leash® certifies dogs, cats, and rabbits as therapy pets. Other therapy pet organizations may also certify other animals such as horses, birds, and guinea pigs.

To become a certified Love on a Leash® pet therapy team, the team must first pass the Love on a Leash® Control Evaluation and then be supervised on a minimum of 10 one-hour visits. Upon successful certification, teams may visit wherever they are invited, but must adhere to our published Guidelines in order to remain covered by Love on a Leash’s liability insurance.

Federal law does not currently provide a legal definition of a therapy pet. Additionally, federal law does not allow therapy pets in public places that have a “no pets” policy. Therapy pets are only allowed into facilities where they have been invited, or that are open to any pet. Some state laws may allow therapy pets to travel on public transportation to and from scheduled therapy visits, so be sure to check if that applies in your state.

A Therapy Pet is…

A Therapy Animal is a pet that is trained with its owner, as a team, to provide comfort and stress relief to others in a variety of situations.

Therapy pets are usually the personal pets of their handlers. They work as a team with their handler to provide a variety of services to others. Therapy pet teams volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition to providing emotional and social support, Therapy Pets may also help individuals achieve physical and educational goals. For example, throwing a ball to a dog to increase mobility, or having children read aloud to a dog.

Therapy pets are most often dogs, but can be animals of other species. Therapy dogs are working dogs (dogs with jobs), but they are not Service Animals. Federal law does not legally define Therapy Pets and they do not have any legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Love on a Leash® certifies dogs, cats and rabbits as Therapy Pets. Other therapy pet organizations may also certify additional types of animals such as horses, birds, and guinea pigs.

To become a certified Therapy Pet, most organizations have evaluations the handler and pet must pass as a team. Certification typically includes insurance coverage, consistent visit and behavior guidelines, animal health assurances, and cleanliness standards.

Federal law does not currently provide a legal definition of a Therapy Pet. Additionally, federal law does not allow Therapy Pets in public places that have a “no pets” policy. Therapy Pets are only allowed into facilities where they have been invited, or that are open to any pet. However, state laws may allow Therapy Pets to travel on public transportation to and from scheduled therapy visits.

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