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Therapy Dog Guidelines

All therapy dog teams that are certified by The Gift of Sunshine, Inc. must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. All dogs must be well groomed and be current on vaccinations, including rabies and distemper, or must have proof of current titers (rabies excluded). All dogs must be on monthly heartworm preventative OR proof of recent fecal exam.
  2. Handlers must be clean and well groomed.
  3. Dogs should be under the handler's control at all times. Dogs should be on a 6-foot maximum leash. No retractable leads.
  4. Dogs should be harnessed at all times, displaying the proper identification tag, unless special arrangements are made. In this case, the handler should carry the proper identification at all times.
  5. Therapy dogs should not be allowed to jump on any bed or chair unless requested to do so by a staff member and the resident/patient.
  6. Dogs are not permitted to jump on people at any time.
  7. Handlers must be aware of the regulations of each facility concerning therapy dog visitations.
  8. Handlers should be aware of their dog's comfort level in new surroundings and situations. Recognize signs of stress in your dog.
  9. Handlers MUST ALWAYS clean up after their dog.
  10. NEVER force your dog to interact with a resident/client. Your dog should always be your first priority. WE WANT YOUR DOG TO ENJOY HIS JOB!

Continue to the Therapy Dog Program Registration form.