HOW TO START YOUR JOURNEY?
Would you like to learn how to share the love of your furry friend or other animal with people in need?
If you feel that you and your furry friend may be interested in becoming a volunteer visiting team with Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends, the first step is to read about the requirements for this unique kind of volunteering.
Do you and your animal have - THE RIGHT STUFF - to become a therapy team ... this seminar identifies the desirable characteristics that make an animal/handler successful as a therapy team. If you are interested in giving back to your community and taking the beautiful bond you have with your animal to an entirely different level, you should come to the Introductory Seminar.
Seminar Location: Baptist Memorial Hospital - Collierville
THERAPY TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOPS Our therapy animals deserve a trained, skilled and devoted handler
If you feel that you and your animal may be interested in becoming an associate visiting team with Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends, the first step is for you to read thoroughly this entire document about the requirements and process to qualify for this very unique kind of volunteering. Once you have read and considered this information, make a list of your questions and then call us to set a prescreening interview. We would like to meet you and your animal to discuss the training and time commitments, answer all your questions about the process, and help you determine whether this is a kind of volunteering that you and your animal will enjoy before you invest in becoming trained, registered and insured. Please recognize that if your animal doesn’t love this idea as much as you do, you will never find it to be rewarding—you are choosing it, but your animal is being drafted!
NEWSFLASH Not all dogs want to be petted. Does your Dog Really Want to be Petted?
Watch This Video
Therapy Team Training Workshops ONE and TWO
Participating in animal-assisted interactions with your companion animal is a volunteer service with great potential satisfaction and reward, but it is not a casual undertaking and not suitable for everyone. It is a serious responsibility that involves health, safety, and extremes of emotion and behavior. Volunteers need to be able to deal appropriately with patient/clients during the most difficult and challenging times in their lives.
>>> How you and your animal companion can test and register as a volunteer team
Team Training Workshop ONE
TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOP TWO – $125 includes the training manual, two training sessions at a facility which include training proper elevator etiquette. The cost of the Competency-Based Team Evaluation (the test!) is included in this Workshop. To be eligible for Workshop 2 & 3 your animal must be reliable, predictable and controllable and demonstrate those skills that were discussed at your prescreening. If you have questions about your eligibility please Contact Us
WORKSHOP TWO consists of three separate sessions - Sessions 2 and 3 with your animal
Evaluations of handler-animal companion teams are done by licensed ITA/MSTD Team Evaluators. Individual appointments for the CBTE will be scheduled for you and your animal companion as a team. The purpose of the CBTE is to determine the handler-animal companion's readiness to do therapy work within the visiting context.
TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOP TW0
JOINING MID SOUTH THERAPY DOGS & FRIENDS – $25/Two Years
Joining Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends – $25/ Two Years. Those who complete the workshop training and successfully pass the evaluation - CBTE - may then join ITA/MSTD. Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends membership includes liability insurance, ID tags, animal ID badge, scarf, car decal, orientation and mentoring, member bulletins, continuing education, and the opportunity to participate in AAA/AAT programs at facilities served by MSTD.
VOLUNTEER WITHOUT AN ANIMAL
There are several ways you can volunteer with Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends if you do not have a companion animal with whom to team up for therapy visiting. You can become an escort for our visiting teams at numerous facilities.
The most frequent opportunity is volunteering to be a team testing assistant. We test potential teams about 8 times each year, on Sundays, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Collierville, and we need a sizeable “cast of characters” to help us conduct these competency- based team evaluations. This is also a great way to get to know others and to learn about the test and what is required if you and your animal are considering becoming a team yourselves.
Please Contact Us to inquire further about this and other opportunities to volunteer without an animal.
Therapy Team Refresher/Renewal Class
Handlers who are due for renewal testing often feel anxious about going through the CBTE. Even teams who visit regularly can benefit from reminders of key handling skills. The handlers will also be updated on the latest policies and procedures and will receive their renewal packet.
Location: Baptist Memorial Hospital Collierville
If you plan on attending the class you will need to reserve a seat.
If you think your dog has the right stuff, but needs a little work first, contact a dog trainer. We recommend Donna Eddins. Be cautious about taking classes from someone who has never worked with therapy animals, and is not extremely familiar with therapy training and the specifics of what is required of not only your animal companion but of YOU - as the handler. Be sure to ask about their experience in animal-assisted work. Remember, this is not just about your dog. You are a Therapy Team!