Avista Animal Helpers Therapy Dog Program of Louisville, Colorado
Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Avista Animal Helpers program!
Thank you for your interest in Avista Adventist Hospital (AAH) therapy dog program. Our teams have been delivering smiles to patients, visitors, and staff since 2009. We currently have more than 25 teams.
Therapy dogs must be calm, obedient, and not easily distracted. They must love meeting many kinds of people. They should know basic commands, walk calmly on a loose lead, and be easily managed by their handlers in varied settings. For our program, dogs must be at least 2 years old; handlers must be at least 18 years old or at least 14 years old and accompanied by a parent.
Our therapy dog handlers are hospital volunteers. All volunteers must attend the hospital’s orientation program, complete a background check, be tested for TB and get a flu shot each year. Avista is a drug-free and tobacco-free workplace.
Not all dogs are suited for this kind of work. Nor are all handlers. Before contacting us, we strongly recommend that you read “Dog Assisted Therapy: Is Your Dog a Good Fit?” Following is a link to that excellent article by Patricia McConnell, PhD:
Does this sound like something you and your dog would be interested in doing? We have a process to qualify therapy dogs and their handlers. For more information, please click the following link. You will be directed to the Avista Aventist Hospital volunteer website to complete the application form. When you submit the application, an Avista volunteer will contact you with more information.
DOGS ONLY, please