Animal-Assisted Therapy

P. O. Box 164084
Fort Worth, Texas 76161-4084

Founded in 1986 -- A nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization

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To prequalify, applicants must be 21 years or older at time of initial application and all potential PAT Therapy Dogs must be two (2) years of age or older at the time of the initial application. All teams must have completed/passed a class in basic or higher level obedience. The class/course in a group atmosphere is necessary to develop proper social skills as well as owner control.

All potential PAT Therapy Teams must submit a completed PAT application, PAT Health Form, photo of the dog to be registered for identification, PAT obedience training form as proof of basic (or higher level) obedience course attended or an obedience title received, and any applicable fees. Each applicant dog must meet all PAT health and hygiene requirements. The PAT Health Certificate Form is due annually on the anniversary date of the physical exam. It must be filled out and signed by a licensed veterinarian who must administer all required inoculations for Distemper, Rabies, Hepatitis/Adenovirus I/II, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Bordatella (kennel cough), and Leptospirosis. Inoculations are acceptable in one (1) to three (3) year durations in combinations or individual. Annual examination, heartworm, and fecal flotation tests are required. Negative test results for nonexistence of heartworms and hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, tapeworms, and roundworms, are required annually. Preventive medications/titer or similar evaluations substituted for tests or inoculations are unacceptable. Preventive medications for heartworm are required. PAT Health Requirements apply to both PAT Therapy Dogs and applicant dogs.

PAT provides a screening and training process for membership/therapy dog registration with equal emphasis placed on the evaluation of both parts of a potential PAT Therapy "TEAM." This process was developed to select and accept the person and dog who work well together with any of the populations in any PAT facility. The PAT dog is the key focal point of the PAT program and is considered to be in a "working" capacity --- the PAT member is the primary motivator, dog guide, protector and safety enforcer; therefore, a "TEAM" is essential. Because PAT dogs are required to work in close quarters with other PAT dogs/members, and unfamiliar people, it is essential that they have a stable temperament without any territorial aggression toward people or other dogs. High tolerance levels are a must when working in stressful environments.

No other documentation, references, certificates/diplomas/titles (other than obedience) earned, organizational affiliations/memberships/therapy dog registrations are acceptable in lieu of the completion of PAT membership participation and documentation requirements



  • Overall stable in temperament
  • Outgoing, friendly, happy, with a mature nature
  • Non aggressive, non territorial, not overly shy nor hyper
  • Adaptable to unfamiliar environments and situations
  • Is generally quiet, does not vocalize excessively
  • Reliably housebroken, well-groomed, in good health
  • Compatible with other dogs and other types of animals encountered in the same surroundings
  • Tolerant of strange sounds, smells, and sights
  • Tolerant of physical contact with unknown person(s), especially in stressful situations
  • Obedient to the PAT handler, easily controlled
  • Presents a positive image for the organization
  • Satisfies health and physical competency requirements of the PAT therapy dog job description without a physical/medical condition that restricts access to patients/residents nor that hinders overall good mobility, causes decreased endurance, promotes self-protection or untrustworthiness of physical contact by unfamiliar persons; or that interferes with the overall performance of the dog as a therapy dog or may be counter productive in some populations by conveying a negative image.
  • Is not certified/registered or currently used as an assistance or service dog nor has received Schutzhund/guard/attack, personal protection training and has no known public record/file of aggression.
  • Exemplifies a true companion relationship with the PAT Therapy Dog, e.g., the human/animal bond
  • Thoroughly understands his/her Therapy Dog's reactions/responses to the environment
  • Is alert and aware of the environment and his/her dog's actions and location at all times
  • Is willing to make a positive commitment to volunteer service
  • Is willing to easily approach, converse with, and motivate unfamiliar persons
  • Possesses a giving, caring, and sharing nature with a positive attitude
  • Is 21 years or older at time of initial application
  • Has no criminal history and is not in community service restitution program
  • Is in overall good health without communicable health problems, satisfies physical and mental competency requirements of the PAT job description, physical involvement to be medium to heavy work --- standing and walking for distances/lengths of time on even/uneven surfaces, up/down on elevated surfaces, lifting bending, stooping, crouching, reaching, pushing, pulling, working with one's hands; hearing, seeing, and speaking, ability to work as an individual team without human assistance and without support equipment that would compromise the safety of others.
  • Exhibits clear and distinct verbal communication skills; be able to speak, write, and read English well with abilities to give, understand and follow directions/instruction.
  • Must provide personal transportation.


Paws Across Texas, Inc. (PAT) reserves the right to restrict and approve the use and distribution of all information and documentation, in any form, directly related to PAT, its policies and procedures.

The training techniques and programming provided by PAT remain the property of the PAT organization and duplication without permission is prohibited. Materials are protected by Copyright Law (Title 17 U. S. Code).

© PAT 1988
Our thanks to Serge Lussier
for assistance in creation of this page.