Being a Faithful Paws Member means that you will have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others through animal-assisted therapy. Pet therapy offers a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for people of all ages, from decreasing stress levels and blood pressure to increasing energy levels and self-esteem.
Therapy pets are different from service animals and emotional support animals. Click here for more information about the differences.
Our Faithful Paws Pet Therapy Teams provide unconditional love to adults and children in schools, libraries, hospitals, retirement, assisted living and memory care communities, hospice centers, colleges, universities and other organizations that request our services. We also provide one-time visits to facilities that are in line with our purpose.
- Submit an application, upload all required documents, and pay the non-refundable application and training class fees. When you click the button below to fill out the application, please be sure you have the following documents ready to go:
- Completed New Member Health Record signed by your veterinarian: Please complete a new member health record for each pet applying to be a member of Faithful Paws. You may either (1) print the form and write on it, then have your vet sign it; (2) type in the form on your computer, then save it and email it to your vet or print it and bring it to your vet; or (3) email the form to your vet for them to complete and sign. Here are the links to the forms: Dog, Cat, Rabbit
- Rabies Vaccination Certificate: This is a single page that is usually titled “Rabies Certificate” or “Certificate of Vaccination” and must be signed by your Veterinarian. This IS NOT a summary of vaccinations.
- Negative Fecal test
- Negative Heartworm test
- Proof of Heartworm flea and parasite preventative
- A photo of your Texas Drivers License
- A good quality passport-type photo of you for your badge
- A good quality passport-type photo of your pet for his/her badge
- Proof of COVID vaccination when/if applicable (many facilities require COVID vaccinations)
- Attend and successfully pass a series of our training classes. If you have a second or third handler, they must attend all classes. Click here for complete information on all of our training class dates, times, and locations.
- Dogs are required to obtain their American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate and submit it to the AKC for their CGC Title. When you pass our training class, your dog will receive a certificate, which you must submit to the AKC in order to receive the actual CGC Title. If the certificate is not submitted within one year, the test is invalid, your pet will not officially have a CGC, and you will be required to retest to maintain your membership status. The CGC title must be uploaded to our member portal once you receive it from the AKC.If you already have your CGC, you are required to attend our training class because it not only trains the pet but teaches you and your pet to participate in pet therapy teams. Having a CGC is not enough preparation for pet therapy work. Practice combined with socialization with new dogs and people prepares our teams for success! If you have a young dog, you may wish to attend a puppy training/obedience class before starting our training.
- Practice at home is required to master the ten skills tested for the CGC. Please be prepared to train your pet before and during our training session.
- If your dog is not ready to take the test at the end of our training class, you will have the option to attend additional training classes and take the CGC test at the next available testing date.
- Dogs who are medically unable to pass the CGC will still attend the training classes. They will be given a temperament test, and if passed, admitted to membership in Faithful Paws.
- If you have a young dog, you may wish to attend a puppy training/obedience class before starting our training.
- The age of your dog starting class is dependent on the dog’s maturity and breed, in general. Most dogs need to be at least 8 months of age, with the average age being just over one year. Some breeds which are more active may need more time to mature before attempting pet therapy work. If you have questions about the age and readiness of your dog to start training, please contact us before submitting your application.
- You can check out the requirements for the Canine Good Citizen Test and find other helpful information on the AKC website. It is very helpful to review this before starting class, and it’s never too early to start training!
- Cats and Rabbits are tested with a temperament test. There is a separate protocol for cats and rabbits. This information will be given to you when you complete your application.
Failure to do all of the above will result in not becoming a member and needing to re-apply should you wish to be considered in the future.
Remaining a Member in Good Standing
To remain a member in good standing, all members are required to do the following within our membership portal during the designated renewal period each year (January 15-February 15):
- Upload all required documents. Members are not allowed to participate in visits if their pet’s rabies certificate or other required documents are expired.
- Update their profiles, including contact information and any other required information. Pay the annual, non-refundable renewal fee(s)
Failure to do all of the above will result in not remaining a member and needing to re-apply should you wish to rejoin in the future.
Click below to learn more about Faithful Paws Membership, and refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.
Additional Information About Membership and Training
Apply to Become a Member
If you have never been a Faithful Paws Member*, you will need to complete an application. After we receive your application, we will contact you if you are eligible for membership. New members may apply between February 16 through December 31 each year. Please remember to have your documents ready before clicking below to begin the application.
A successful Faithful Paws applicant will do the following:
- Follow directions to complete online application with a minimum of administrator assistance. Ask a family member or friend to help if necessary.
- Come to all classes on time (or early).
- Show up with a positive, cheerful attitude as demonstrated by words, actions and body language.
- Ask questions of trainers and administrators in a respectful manner.
- Listen attentively and not talk to others while the trainer is talking.
- Accept correction as a necessary part of learning.
- Pay close attention during class.
- Work at learning and practices diligently with the pet between all sessions, preferably two or three 15-minute sessions daily.
- Complete all homework assigned on time and without prompting.
IMPORTANT: When you click the button below to apply to become a member, you will see instructions regarding entering your pet’s name in the First Name field on the first screen of the application after you create a username and password. Please make sure you put your pet’s name in the First Name field and not your first name. The last name field will be your last name. Your full name will be entered on the following screen.