Workshops & Temperament Testing
Caring Critters conducts half-day workshops for all incoming volunteers. The workshop is designed to familiarize the volunteer with all facets of our program. We present a brief history of animal-assisted therapy and information on various human-animal bond activities throughout the country. Caring Critters' policies, procedures, rules and requirements are explained in detail.
New volunteers are acquainted with the various populations they may encounter on a visit and offers ways to interact with patients/residents who are mentally or physically challenged.
New volunteers will be instructed regarding the veterinarian requirements and necessary forms required to participate with Caring Critters. We will also discuss how to recognize and reduce stress in therapy pets. The facilities Caring Critters serves are described to enable volunteers to choose the best one suited to them and their pet. A demonstration of temperament testing rounds out the day. We are currently accepting applications for our next workshop. The deadline to request an application is September 9, 2023 for our October 14, 2023 workshop.
After you have completed the workshop, you will attend a one-hour temperament testing session with your pet. Temperament Testing is exactly what it says... we are looking for animals with accepting, adaptable and non-aggressive temperaments and handlers who know how to manage their pets. If the pet is obedience trained, that is wonderful, but it is not required.
The animal/handler team is introduced to a series of situations that the team can and will encounter on an AAT visit, such as wheelchairs, walkers, rolling IV's and working in close quarters with other animals. We need to be sure the animal is tolerant of these unusual conditions and not stressed and the volunteer is able to handle the pet appropriately.
Unacceptable pet behavior consists of, but is not limited to: growling, snapping or biting, lifting leg, excessive and/or uncontrollable barking or jumping, mounting and nervous or aggressive behavior. The pets MUST get along with all other animals and be easily controlled by the volunteer. Our next temperament testing will be October 21, 2023.