Already a registered therapy dog team? Great!
Think your dog would be a good candidate? We will help you get trained and registered.
Don't have an appropriate dog (or perhaps you have a cat)? We still need your help.
Volunteer therapy dog teams commit to a 10-week program (6 in summer). Each program meets weekly for a one hour session. A Fair Shake instructor and three therapy dog teams work with 12 young people. Each session includes both hands-on work and discussion of a dog-related topic. Activities focus on small groups -- 4 students working directly with you and your dog. In one session you may help your group learn how to ask your dog to 'sit' and 'down.' Then while your dog takes a break, help your group sort photos depicting dog body language in advance of a full group discussion.
There is no one breed or type of dog that is appropriate -- dogs may be more mellow or more active. A mix of dogs helps the kids appreciate individual differences see there are many ways to be successful. Many of our dogs are rescue dogs and in this case we emphasize their stories of resilience.
Therapy dog teams must be registered by Pet Partners or certified by The Good Dog Foundation. Teams registered with other therapy dog organizations will be considered on a case by case basis.
Please note: Transportation to Fair Shake schools and programs is provided or reimbursed.
A Profound Connection
A Fair Shake offers teams the unique experience to connect with kids and watch them learn and grow. Over the 10 weeks you become an integral part of their school life.
“If nothing else goes right in this kid’s day, and if no one else listens to him, I’m going to listen to him and Jelly is certainly going to listen to him.”
Volunteer and NBC Comedy Writer
"There's a sense of respect for an animal, and how you interact with that animal, and that brings self-respect to these kids."
Volunteer and Consultant
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Current Therapy Dog Teams
Become a Therapy Dog Team
Volunteer Without a Dog
Dog photos: The Dogist