All animals must wear a collar or harness and be leashed while they are on the testing grounds and during visits. The expectation is that you will always be in full control of your animal and able to respond proactively, should the visiting environment change. This means you need to hold the leash in your hand at all times. Never drop the leash for photos or cuddling during a visit. Never tie your animal’s leash to furniture or equipment, or pass the leash to someone who is not also a registered handler of the animal.
The type of equipment that your animal wears during the evaluation is the same type that it must wear when visiting. Animals evaluating for the first time with Pet Partners should wear only their collar or harness and a leash. Vests and bandanas are not permitted.
When choosing your animal’s equipment, select an item that is easily sanitized, allows sufficient space for petting the animal’s body, and allows no means by which the animal or the client may be harmed.
Anyone wishing to use a specially designed harness for service animals must request and receive an accommodation from Pet Partners for the use of the equipment while on a therapy animal visit. It will be up to the team evaluator to determine if the equipment is in fact acceptable to Pet Partners standards.
Strollers and carts require an accommodation for the use of the equipment. The team evaluator will be responsible for approving the stroller chosen at the time of the evaluation. All strollers and carts should be clean and safe for both the client and the animal. Pet Partners does not currently allow the use of wagons or any other device that is pulled versus being pushed.
Brushes are useful tools to have while you’re visiting, because they offer a way for people to interact with your animal. The brush that you bring to the evaluation doesn’t need to be the same one that you use to routinely groom your animal.
The brush that you use as your “visiting brush” should minimize the possibility of unintentional injury to both your animal and the clients. Soft bristles and plastic handles are best. Wire bristle brushes and combs with metallic teeth are not acceptable.
Dressing animals in costumes or other novelty items for visits is not allowed. It introduces an unnecessary element of risk into visits. For example, if you were to dress your dog up in devil horns for Halloween and visit a person with dementia, the costume could trigger a severe adverse reaction despite your good intentions. In addition, costumes can get caught on healthcare equipment and can be a safety hazard, and may be difficult to clean and sanitize for infection control. Please refer to the Costumes FAQ in the Resource Library for additional detail. Note that seasonal or holiday scarves are permitted.
You are not required to present rabies tags to your evaluator, but you must have proof of a current rabies vaccination in order to evaluate. Pet Partners recommends that dogs wear their rabies tags while evaluating and visiting. This is often a local ordinance or requirement of facilities where you may visit as well.
For specific inquiries about appropriate equipment, contact Pet Partners.