Membership Guidelines

General Guidelines
  • Membership of Bellaire United Methodist Church is not required.
  • Membership is renewed annually in January.  $22 membership dues, records/receipt showing annual vet examination and a renewed (if expired) Rabies Vaccination Certificate will be needed each year to maintain membership.
  • All members must volunteer at least once a month starting the month they are approved. Do not join if you do not have the time to offer. The thought of volunteering and actually carving out time to commit to volunteering are two different things. If you have a busy schedule and cannot 100% commit to at least a monthly visit, please do not apply.
  • Secondary liability insurance coverage will be supplied by Bellaire United Methodist Church. Your own homeowner’s policy will be the primary coverage.
  • There is no minimum age for handlers, but handlers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for class, testing and on all visitations. The parent is considered the Primary Handler, the child would be the Secondary Handler. Some facilities require all visitors to be over 21.
  • Our program does not certify pets to be used as part of any business or agency. Our pets are not certified to be used in any kind of private practice or volunteering or care-giving, etc. Our certification does not entitle our pets to “go to work” with their owners for any reason, nor ever make home or apartment visits. We visit only our pre-arranged facilities on set schedules, usually once a month.
  • Faithful Paws does not participate in providing “service hours” or “volunteer hours” for any purpose.
  • Our purpose is entirely altruistic and not to be self-serving for our people or play-dates for our pets.
  • Therapy animals are not required to be spayed or neutered. Female animals must not be in estrus when attending class or participating in therapy work. Some of our therapy pets are still active show animals.
  • If you ever decide to stop making your monthly required visits or move out of the Houston area, you are expected to drop off your Faithful Paws items back to the Bellaire United Methodist Church.
  • Therapy pets are only considered therapy pets as long as they are active members of their certifying organization. Once they quit, retire, or are no longer active, they are no longer considered a therapy pet at all. Active status for Faithful Paws members and pets can be checked at any time with our admins through this web site. The therapy pet and handler must maintain current active status with their therapy animal registration/certification organization as long as they are volunteering to be considered a therapy animal.
  • By registering or renewing, all members agree to inform the Director of the Pet Therapy Program immediately if their animal(s) shows any sign of aggressive behavior toward other animals or persons, and to stop visiting with their animal(s) in a Therapy Animal capacity until the matter has been resolved with our director.
  • By accepting registration or renewal with Faithful Paws Pet Therapy Program, the applicant agrees to abide by all rules and guidelines. Failure to abide by these rules will be subject to cancellation of registration or renewal. All rules, guidelines, regulations, forms and other materials are subject to revision as needed, without prior notice and will be replaced if applicable.
  • For additional information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions