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We'd like to extend an invitation to all qualified TDTC members to join Paw Pals. We currently visit 20 facilities a month, including nursing homes, schools and hospitals. Paw Pals is listed on the AKC web site of approved Therapy Organizations.

Listed below are the requirements, expectations, and a description of a typical visit. All of our forms are available on-line as well as in the Snack Room at TDTC.

If you would like more information, please contact
Moira Lawson at:
or Warren Pagel at:

The goal of Paw Pals is to share the love our dogs have with individuals who cannot own pets themselves. Visits from Paw Pals also provides residents with socialization time, as well as opportunities to share fond memories of pets they once owned.


  • Handler must be a current associate or regular TDTC member.

  • Handler is expected to wear his ID badge on each visit.

  • Handler is expected to fill out a Paw Pals membership renewal form each year (deadline is July 1st). This must be turned into the coordinators along with a copy of your dog's rabies vaccination.

  • The dog must be at least one (1) year old, and up to date with rabies vaccination.

  • The dog must have completed the Beginner and Novice I classes or have earned a CD title. If these requirements have been completed at another training facility, then you and your dog will be tested by a TDTC trainer before you begin your PawPals application process.

  • The dog must have earned a Canine Good Citizen certificate, and a copy needs to be provided for his Paw Pals file.

  • While it is assumed that dogs have proven themselves to be well socialized by the time you apply to Paw Pals, some dogs end up not doing well in some settings. If an incident does occur that indicates a dog may not be well suited to making therapeutic visits, the Team Leader and the dog's handler must contact a Paw Pals Coordinator within 24 hours. The situation will be assessed by the Paw Pals Coordinators and TDTC's Board of Directors.

Visit Requirements:
  • Visits to non-approved facilites may not be made on behalf of Paw Pals.

  • Handlers and dogs are to wear the Paw Pals ID badge/tag while making visits.

  • Female dogs may not participate in Paw Pals visits while "in season".

  • Dogs must be well-groomed, clean, and parasite-free.

  • Dogs must be kept on a lead and close to you at all times when in a facility. Leads may be removed when doing obedience or trick demonstrations.

Application Process:
  • After completing the required classes and certifications, ask two instructors to fill in the Instructor Recommendation forms and mail them to the Paw Pals Coordinator.

  • Fill out a Paw Pals Application Form, then mail it to the Paw Pals Coordinator along with a $15.00 membership fee (covers the cost of one Member ID Badge and one dog tag), and a copy of your dog’s current rabies vaccination.

  • Make 3 supervised facility visits, and have the Team Leader(s) fill out a visit evaluation form (one for each visit). A facility list will be provided to you when you are ready to make your initial visits. The forms are to be turned in to the Paw Pals Coordinator (either by the Team Leader or by yourself).

  • 1-2 hours a month (more is always welcome!)

  • Patience and understanding while interacting with residents.

  • Respect for those residents who do not want to have dogs near them.

  • Respect for the facility you are visiting.

  • Show respect for your team leader(s) by calling if you cannot make a schedule visit or if you'd like to visit a facility for the first time.

  • You are expected to pay close attention to your dog (i.e., know when he needs a break and take him away from the group if need be).

  • The group meets at a designated area about 10-15 minutes before a scheduled visit.

  • The group is accompanied by the Team Leader or a sub) and the Activity Director (or a designated staff member) while visiting residents in an activity are or while going to individual rooms.

  • The length of a visit can vary, but typically are 30-60 minutes long.