Membership Guidelines

General Guidelines
  • Membership of Bellaire United Methodist Church is not required.
  • The application for membership must be completed for all new members.
  • A copy of your driver’s license.
  • Membership must be renewed annually. The renewal form, $22 fee, Rabies Vaccination Certificate, copies of updated auto insurance and driver’s license are due by the end of January, regardless of date of initial membership (date of testing/certification).
  • 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. Some facilities require all visitors to be over 21. There is a separate application for youth handlers. If desired, ask for it when you contact us. The parent/guardian must complete the regular application.
  • The Initial Health Records Form must be completed and signed by a Veterinarian. It is mandatory for registration. A copy of the current Rabies Vaccination Certificate from the vet is also required.
  • Animals must be at least 6 months of age in order to be tested for certification. They can begin class at any age once they have gotten their rabies shots.
  • Faithful Paws Pet Therapy Membership GuidelinesAnimals must never show aggression to humans or to other animals. All animals are screened during training and invited to test and join. Handler and pet will be evaluated together. Some pets will not have the temperament appropriate for pet therapy and will be refused membership.
  • Dogs will have to pass the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Test and/or a Temperament Evaluation for suitability to be a potential therapy dog. Small dogs do not require CGC and may be temperament tested however we recommend training classes for all dogs.Cats, rabbits, and other small animals must pass a Temperament Evaluation for suitability to be a potential therapy animal. We do not accept reptiles or exotic animals.
  • 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. Therapy pets are not service animals! They do not “fly free,” get to go in restaurants, or get any special privileges.
  • Faithful Paws does not participate in providing “service hours” for any purpose. The classes and training time would not count, since no service is being provided then, and visiting one or two hours a month accumulate slowly. 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.
  • 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.