As with almost every other therapy group, our dogs have to be at least one year of age before they are eligible for registration and insurance with NCTD. Unlike almost every other therapy group, ALL of our human members of our dog teams HAVE to have a Level II background checks. As the sole owner of this group, I am unwilling to leave any stone unturned in an effort to ensure that anyone who we work with is safe
Each of our teams must go through at least 12 weeks of obedience/learning classes before they are ready for evaluation and hopeful registration within our group. This timeline has been developed to ensure that all of our dogs teams have a good degree of obedience as well as having learned the art of therapy.
Each team must pass the AKC CGC and CGCA. We believe that our teams need to be trained to as high a standard as possible, within reason. No dog that has been trained for personal protection will be allowed into our program, as we cannot have any “mistakes” that could result in a bite. Dog teams that wish to be considered for participation in Courtroom Dogs for Kids must also pass the Advanced Obedience Test of Nature Coast Therapy Dogs. Before they are accepted into this specialized program, teams must have a minimum of 6mos documented visits to various facilities, and even then, there is no guarantee of acceptance.
While this all sounds so serious, and it is, therapy with a dog is nothing but joy for all concerned. We go to many local nursing /assisted living facilities, day care centers, boys and girls clubs and schools. We even are available to funeral homes to help keep the little ones safe and content through was is surely a most difficult time for families. Our programs at schools are aimed at promoting dog safety, better reading skills, and generally teaching the children of our community the benefits of compassion to all living things.
For more information on our organization, please send an e-mail to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.