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Therapy Dog

Alliance of Therapy Dogs

It is a goal of ATD to provide registration, support, and insurance for members who are involved in volunteer animal assisted activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, visits to hospitals, special needs centers, schools, and nursing homes. Our objective is to form a network of caring individuals who are willing to share their special animals in order to bring happiness and cheer to people, young and old alike.
ATD - Become A Member

Qualifications for ATD begin with a friendly dog, any breed or mix, and an owner/handler who has a desire to share it with those who are no longer able to own a pet, or are in a health facility separated or away from their pets. Dogs must be at least one year of age to be tested and observed.

Our process begins with a test done by one of our Tester/Observers in your area. This test includes a handling portion which tests your dog’s basic good manners and your handling skills. If you and your dog pass, you move to the next step of interacting with residents or strangers on three supervised visits.


Alliance of Therapy Dogs is committed to a code of ethics that will guide the performance, conduct and behavior of its board and members. This code will ensure that the professionalism of our organization is reflected in the operation of our volunteer activities and that ATD members will adhere to the Rules and Regulations and this Code of Ethics or will be held accountable for their actions.

1. Members will maintain high standards of honesty, integrity and impartiality, free from any personal considerations, favoritism or partisan demands.
2. Members will be courteous and considerate when dealing with the public, realizing that we serve the public.
3. Members will be courteous and professional in all ATD social media interaction.
4. Members will maintain mutual respect and professional cooperation in their relationships with other ATD members.
5. Members will act cordially and professionally toward all other registered therapy dog teams regardless of registry.
6. Members will be firm, fair and consistent in the performance of their volunteer duties and shall treat others with dignity, respect and compassion, void of all retribution, harassment or abuse.
7. Members will conduct themselves in a manner that will not bring discredit or embarrassment to the organization when performing their volunteer duties.
8. Members will report without reservation any witnessed infractions of ATD Rules and Regulations or unethical behavior that could affect either members or the integrity of ATD.
9. Members will not abuse their position, education or professional title(s).
10. Members will not directly or indirectly solicit from anyone anything of economic value, such as a gift, gratuity or favor, for their volunteer services.
11. Members will not use the ATD name, logo or slogan without approval from the president.
12. Members will not discriminate against any person, facility employee or any member of the public on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.
13. Members will not sexually harass or condone sexual harassment with or against any person.
14. Members will not misrepresent their therapy dogs as service dogs for the purpose of gaining public access to planes, restaurants, public buildings, stores, etc.
15. Handlers who want to take their therapy dogs into places that normally allow only service dogs MUST explain that their dogs are therapy dogs, not service dogs, AND that they do not have legal access rights like service dogs.
16. Members who choose to engage in behaviors/activities outside of the guidelines without an approved exception must remove the official red-heart shaped ATD tag from the dog’s collar and notify the facility supervisor that ATD insurance is not in effect for the duration of that behavior/activity.