I have been doing animal-assisted therapy and activities with my dogs for the past 10 years. When I started, my dogs were registered with Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program. A few years later, we switched registration to Therapy Dogs, Inc. (TDInc.). Founded in 1990, TDInc. is an organization with more than 12,000 members in the United States and its territories, as well as Canada.
I appreciate Dr. McConnell telling it like it is—that this work is not for every dog, nor every dog-owner. However, I was dismayed that she (and you) neglected to include mention of TDInc. in your piece. Our organization does not put a lot of money into marketing, so perhaps it is easy to miss us.
The value of registering a therapy dog can’t be stressed enough: proof that the dog is suitable for the work, training for the handler regarding his/ her responsibilities when visiting and liability insurance in case something unexpected happens. However, I hope that your readers will consider all three of the national organizations as they prepare to visit with their dog.