Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long is the commitment?
Programs run 10 weeks (6 in the summer). We ask that you make every effort to attend all the sessions, as the kids look forward to you and your dog's visit. We do however understand if you have an occasional business or personal commitment.
2. That is a long commitment -- is there an alternative?
Yes, some of our programs are of shorter duration. Summer programs are generally six weeks and we do have an occasional shorter program. If your schedule is unpredictable, you may also want to consider becoming an alternate team.
3. Do you provide transportation? What if I drive my own car?
A Fair Shake provides transportation when a team does not live near the school. A Fair Shake also reimburses for parking or other transport with prior approval.
4. I would like to volunteer but my dog is not therapy dog material. Is there anything else I can do?
Yes, if you know someone who has a dog that you think might be better suited for this type of work, you can train and test with that dog. The handler does not have to be the owner. We also offer opportunities to volunteer at events and therapy dog evaluations.
5. Which breeds of dogs can be therapy dogs?
Any breed can be a therapy dog. The key is temperament, not breed.
6. There are a number of organizations that register or certify therapy dogs -- can I go through any organization?
A Fair Shake works with dogs that are registered by Pet Partners or teams certified by The Good Dog Foundation. Dogs registered with other organizations are considered individually.
7. Why do you work with registered therapy dogs?
Working with children is especially stressful; all dog teams are individually vetted to ensure a good fit with A Fair Shake for Youth.
8. I have a therapy dog, how do I start volunteering?
The first step is to contact A Fair Shake to begin the application process.
9. My dog eats a raw diet -- can I register with The Good Dog Foundation and still volunteer with A Fair Shake?
Yes, The Good Dog Foundation requires hands-on training classes before testing. For more information please contact The Good Dog Foundation. Good Dog teams volunteering with A Fair Shake for Youth are covered by A Fair Shake insurance but not Good Dog insurance.
11. How much does the 6-week therapy dog training course cost?
The hands-on training course is approximately $350.
12. I really want to volunteer but it's expensive.
The process does require a financial commitment, but registration fees support your insurance when visiting.
"These kids all have trouble somewhere, as we all do. They start out so unsure of themselves... but once they start working with the dogs and learn that the dogs love them, it gives them self-confidence."
- Gail Wagner, Volunteer