How can I volunteer with Pawsitive Friendships?
There are several ways you can volunteer with us. If you and your pet wish to work directly with the children, you MUST be a registered therapy team. Please see Become a therapy team for details.
If you have a special talent or skill you would like to volunteer with, for example event planning/organizing, graphic design or marketing to name a few please contact us at volunteer@pawsitivefriendships.org and tell us about yourself.
If you would like to volunteer at one of our events, please contact us at volunteer@pawsitivefriendships.org and let us know which event you are interested in.
How do I know if AAT is right for my kid?
Most kids respond well to animals and will benefit from AAT. We do not recommend AAT if your child has a fear of animals. With that being said, we have had some children with a slight fear of animals who have responded well to therapy and now LOVE animals and are excelling in their therapy session. It is best to evaluate each situation on an individual basis and as a parent you are the number one advocate for your child.

Is this the same type of Animal Therapy done in Hospitals or Nursing Homes?
No. Our animals play a VERY interactive role in your child’s therapy. The therapist and handler work together to integrate the traditional exercises and activities that your child normally does, to now involve the animal. Your child is “working” without realizing it, to them it is play. We call this outward focus, they are focusing on something other than themselves and what they can’t or may have a difficult time doing.

Where are the services provided?
We currently work in clinic and educational settings. We do not go in to homes for therapy sessions. Our goal is to be as productive as possible, with the least amount of distractions. We feel that a clinic or educational setting would provide a safe environment for both the child and animal.
Facilities that we are currently contracted with include:

Advanced Therapy Solutions

Baio Enterprises

Empower Academy

Foundation for Blind Children

Hope Academy 4 Autism

Milestone Pediatrics

Upward for Child and Families

Wilson Elementary

How can I receive AAT for my child?
If you are interested in your child receiving AAT in conjunction with his/her regularly scheduled therapy, you can ask their therapist if they are interested in participating. If they are, please call our office (480) 353-7833 and give us your information and the therapist’s information and we will handle the rest.

Do you charge the families for this service?
No, we do not charge the families for our services. We are a 501c3 organization and are able to accept donations from individuals and businesses to fund our program.

Can I stop AAT if my child does not respond well?
Absolutely! We want your child to be successful with or without our animals. If the therapy sessions become nonproductive with AAT, then we highly recommend stopping or even just taking a break.

How can my clinic or school receive services?
Call us to make an appointment for us to go over our program in detail. We can also attend an in-service to present our program to your staff.

Is Animal Assisted Therapy right for all of my clients?
You know your clients best. If your clients have a fear of animals, we suggest that they not participate in AAT.  Other than that, most children respond well to animals.

How many hours can a therapy dog work?
A Therapy dog is allowed to work 20 hours per week or two hours per day. The limiting factor on this is the handler. The handler is a volunteer and may have limited schedule times. We will work with you to find the best pet therapy team fit for you and your client.

Can’t I just bring my own dog, they are really good with kids?
A registered therapy dog is not permitted to “work”. If a handler utilizes a therapy animal in their workplace they are not within policy of the registering organizations (Pet Partners’ and Therapy Dogs Inc.) and the liability insurance is not valid.
In addition to the above, we desire to create the safest environment and experience for both the child and animal. Our model utilizes a 1:1 ratio, the therapist is responsible for the child and the handler is responsible for the animal. By doing this each party is fully supervised at all times.

How will AAT change my regular session?
Our goal is not to change your session but enhance the session. Our handlers follow your lead and communicates with you throughout the session. If the session is unproductive than it may not be a good fit and needs to be reevaluated.

What do you require from the therapists?
We have the therapist sign our volunteer’s time log and every quarter we ask the therapist to complete a short survey to evaluate our productivity.

Is there a fee for your services?
We do ask each facility for a minimum tax-deductible donation/co-write a grant or hold a fundraiser on our behalf to help provide supplies to the teams that will be visiting. (Please call for more details.)

Can you provide AAT in a Special Education School?
Yes. We are able to work with schools as well as clinics. Please call us at (480) 353-7833 for more information, as we review schools on a case-by-case basis.