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Organization: Ottawa Therapy Dogs  
Phone Numbers: 613-261-6834
99-1568 Merivale Rd, Ste 369
Ottawa, ON
K2G 5Y7
Hours: Irregular, call for details
Contacts: Julie Davies - Program Manager/Volunteer Coordinator/Administration
Service Description: Animal-assisted therapy * therapy dogs and their handlers work as an integral part of a patient’s healthcare team to meet their goals through the physical, emotional and social benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) * Therapy dog teams visit healthcare facilities for both children and adults encompassing local hospitals, retirement residences, long-term care facilities, palliative care units, day programs, etc.

Reading Education Assistance Program® (R.E.A.D.®): literacy initiative offered in local schools and libraries * designed to achieve measurable improvement in reading fluency while building communications skills, self-esteem, confidence and social skills

Fees: Membership - $40 for annual membership (2015) * annual associate membership (without dog) $20 (2015) * None - for healthcare/education facilities * Evaluation fees for volunteers, $25 (2015)
Application: Volunteers: Attend one of three mandatory information sessions, typically in March, June and September. Application forms available on the website for subsequent submission. A mandatory orientation is held in September followed by evaluations scheduled through the Fall/Winter. A Police Records Check (Vulnerable Sector) completed within the past 12 months must be completed after successful evaluation. Reference checks are also required. New teams complete a shadowing and mentoring process prior to beginning regular visits alone. A commitment of weekly, fortnightly or monthly visits is necessary. Teams with weekday availability are in high demand, although evening and weekend placements are possible.

Facilities: To request a team, please contact Ottawa Therapy Dogs directly to discuss requirements and set up a site assessment. Although there is a waiting list of facilities that have requested a team, we do our best to match our volunteers with facilities based on a number of factors.
Eligibility - Population(s) Served: Volunteers: Individuals 18 and over and their dogs are evaluated as a team against specific test requirements. Dogs must be a minimum of two years old and no older than 11 years at time of evaluation. Proof of rabies is required before evaluation. Animals on raw food diets are currently precluded from becoming therapy dogs. Subsequent annual check-ups with veterinary confirmation of health records, including up-to-date vaccinations and specific testing are required.

Volunteers without dogs may contribute their skills and experience as associate members in areas such as event planning, marketing, communications, project management, etc. as needed.
Age: 18.00 years and older
Languages: English ; French
Language Note: some handlers
Area(s) Served:

This information was last completely updated on September 1, 2015

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