Resources for Certification in NC (Triangle & Triad regions):
This list is not exhaustive, but these are the organizations that are well-known, with tests and/or courses in this area. Consult the main websites for general information about pet therapy, info on prerequisites, test requirements, registration fees, as well as testing dates that are currently scheduled in various areas (these fill up quickly!). Some have videos of test components. The organizations each have differing requirements and procedures leading to certification, but some features are similar. Pets must be at least one year, must have suitable aptitude and personality, and possess at least basic obedience skills (see training list below), and the handler should be a good advocate of, and work well with, his/her pet.
Dog Training Facilities (Triangle and Triad):
This is a partial listing of businesses that have been suggested by others. Some offer therapy dog classes and/or Canine Good Citizen Classes, a good prep for a therapy dog evaluation. A good facility should employ positive, reward-based training techniques. If you have additional recommendations, please send information.
Other NC Locations:
Additional Information/Articles about Pet-Assisted Therapy and its Benefits:
This information is provided by PetPalsNC, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports pet-assisted therapy for children and adolescents in public schools. When you and your pet are certified, please reach out to us if you would like to do rewarding work with kids who have challenges (social, academic, emotional, behavioral, etc). We currently have pet-therapy teams in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Orange County Schools, Durham Public Schools, and hope to be expanding into other areas soon.