Frequently Asked Questions
Are you looking for answers to some commonly asked questions about being a therapy team?
Read here to see if your question is covered!
My pet eats raw fruits and vegetables - is that considered a “Raw Food Diet?”
While these do constitute “raw foods,” the concern PAWS has with this diet is restricted to the raw protein (meat) items. Freeze dried protein is not prohibited.
I don’t have a license. Are they required? How do I get one?
Yes, licenses are required in all four states we visit. You do not need a license to attend Orientation or Training; you will need to submit a copy of your license or tag before you can visit a PAWS site.
Your best bet is to search online for “dog license” and your location – often you can order the license online.
Do I have to have the vet form completed and signed before Orientation?
A copy of current vaccinations (rabies and distemper) is sufficient to attend Orientation. Bring a copy of your last vet visit receipt – it should have the vaccination dates on it – or you can ask your vet to fax PAWS a copy (FAX: 302-351-8116).
Please be sure to have your vet complete the PAWS form at your next visit. Do NOT make a special appointment just to get this signed.
My husband/wife/friend wants to come with me to Orientation and Training. Is that OK?
Yes, friends and family members may attend with you. However, in order to be certified as a PAWS team (and eligible to visit or handle the pet), they must complete STEX testing and Training and pay the appropriate fees. Please let the office staff know you want to bring someone along so they have a proper headcount.
Can my husband/wife/friend go on visits with me and my therapy pet?
That depends on where you will be visiting. (It’s not appropriate to take people with you to the hospital, drug rehab, or psychiatric care facilities). Please check with the PAWS office before taking any guests with you on visits.
My dog won’t sit because he is so little. Is that OK?
All dogs over five pounds must complete and pass all of STEX in order to become a certified PAWS therapy companion. Dogs under five pounds have to sit, down, and stay.
My dog is six months old. Is that too young to get started?
To get started, your pet must have proof of rabies vaccination. If your pet can complete (and pass) the STEX test, they are welcome to attend orientation. All pets under the age of 18 months, however, must reSTEX every six months. There is no additional fee for this.
My dog won’t be able to pass all of STEX yet. Should we still come?
Absolutely! Our trainers are able to assist you and you will get a very good sense of what you need to work on for certification.
My dog just won’t do “X.” What do I do?
PAWS offers dog training courses that could help you master whatever you and your dog need to work on.
My dog is disabled. Do you accommodate for pets with disabilities?
Yes. Please contact the office for more information.
My pet is intact/in heat. Is that OK?
Intact animals are permitted provided their temperament is appropriate to PAWS culture. Females in heat cannot attend any training sessions for safety reasons and should not visit at that time.
I want to visit “X” (not a PAWS site). Is that OK?
You may not visit any non-PAWS site as a PAWS representative (green leash, paperwork, insurance, etc). You will not be covered by PAWS insurance policies.
Why do I have to pay a fee to volunteer? Aren’t you a nonprofit?
We are a nonprofit organization raising enough funds to cover the cost of doing business. PAWS charges fees to cover the cost of ongoing training, testing and supervision of all PAWS teams. As a PAWS member, you are also covered by our liability policy.