Animal-Assisted Therapy

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

Job Description
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To prequalify, applicants must be 21 years or older at the 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. A PAT obedience form will be provided prior to evaluation.

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.

Please note:

  • Each PAT team will participate in a reevaluation process for their continual certification/registration; with team accepted in odd numbered years reevaluated in similar years and even teams accepted in an even numbered year (e.g., 2017-reevaluated in 2019 and 2018 accepted reevaluated in 2020).
  • PAT does not accept potential teams that have a current registration or certification with another organization due to conflict in liability and PAT does not accept service animals.
  • The PAT geographic service area is Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas. For anyone outside of this area, please contact a national organization.



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