Pet Assisted Therapy

Pet Assisted Therapy
Marie Volbrecht, PhD, LP, ABN
Email: [email protected]
Why Animals?
• Psychological Benefits
• Physical Benefits
Pet Therapy v. Pet Assisted Therapy
• Pet Therapy
• Pet Assisted Therapy - Changing to Animal
Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Animal Assisted
Interventions (AAI)
Which Animals?
• Dogs are most commonly thought of
• Many others: horses, cats, rabbits, even rats!
• Some organizations certify only certain species
Choosing Your Animal
• Species
• Size
• Qualities
– Grooming requirements
– Amount of time / care involved
– Amount of training involved
• What happens if you don’t pass?
• Dogs in particular have guidelines and
• Start early
• Socialize often
• Think ahead
Certification Organizations
Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TD Inc)
Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society)
Therapy Dogs International (TDI)
Love On a Leash (Pet-Provided Therapy)
Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs
• Intermountain Therapy Animals
• First certify as Animal-Assisted Therapy
• Then additional process for READ
Therapy Dogs, Inc.
• As the name suggests: Dogs only (any breed or
• At least one year of age
• Tested as a team and then observed doing 3
visits before certified
• Includes liability insurance when volunteering
– not when “on the clock”
Pet Partners
• Various species included: dogs, cats, alpacas,
horses, rabbits, pocket pets, birds, pigs
• Course and evaluation for person and then
team test
• Smaller pets at least 6 months old; dogs and
larger animals at least one year old
• Also offers liability insurance when
You’re Certified. Now what?
Back up
What exactly do I do?
Screen the people – protect the animal
Have a goal in mind
Proprioception, Tactile, and Motor
Problem Solving
Spatial Processing
Memory and Attention
Social and Emotional
Speech and Language
I Can Bill For This?
• Animal-Assisted Therapy – view as another
tool in your professional toolbox
• CPT codes:
• Billable = Having a purpose

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