Get Involved

PawBecome a Pet Partner Team with TAU
As Utah’s only Pet Partners® affiliate (, all of our training classes and team evaluations are conducted by licensed Pet Partners instructors and evaluators. If you have your own appropriate companion animal – dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, domestic rat, hook-billed bird, pot-bellied pig, horse or llama you can join us to become registered as a Pet Partner Team. By joining TAU and Pet Partners you will be covered by Pet Partner’s liability insurance policy whenever and where ever you volunteer with your “Pet Partner®”. Read More


PawStep 1: Training the Human End of the Leash

New handler volunteers (those who volunteer with their own animal) are required to take the online Pet Partners course, which provides the foundation information. For assistance in locating or registering for the online Pet Partners course, please contact us by email or telephone.

Additionally, new volunteers are encouraged to participate in the Fur-Real Hands-On Handler Practicum in person to help reinforce their learning and practice the hands-on skills that help turn the theory into practice. People who don’t have animals that they want to volunteer with, but want to volunteer “unleashed”, should attend the hands-on Practicum since it will better prepare them for their work as an unleashed volunteer. The $45 fee for the Practicum includes a one year membership in TAU and help in getting started.

The Fur-Real Hands-On Handler Practicum teaches the animal stress and calming signals in a thorough, practical way. Our course also reinforces the online course principles of supporting the animal, confidentiality, and infection control through practical demonstrations and practice. We also emphasize best practice positioning while walking into a facility, reading to children, visiting clients who are using walkers, sitting on couches and chairs, wheelchairs, and bed-side visits, as well as working with groups and with therapists.

PawStep 2A: Before Evaluation - Basic Obedience (for dogs)

Your dog should know and reliably follow basic obedience commands, be controllable, reliable, inspire confidence in the clients they visit and enjoy interacting with and being touched by people. Basic obedience commands include ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘heel’, ‘come’ when called and ‘leave it’. ‘Leave it’ is a very important command to protect your pet from possibly ingesting something harmful during a visit.

Although many dogs have good manners at home, your dog must also behave in varied situations, around distractions, loud noises and around different people. These things are illustrated  in athe Pet Partner Handler’s Training Course  (Step 1).

We want you and your dog to succeed! Though not required by TAU, you and your dog are encouraged to attend a ‘beginners’ class before signing up for a team evaluation. If you would like some help, we can recommend the trainers on our Partners and Friends page.

PawStep 2B: Team Evaluation

After you complete the online Pet Partners training course and the Fur-Real Hands-on Handler Practicum, and you feel your dog is ready, sign up for a team evaluation. This is an assessment of the handler and animal partners in various situations common to what therapy teams will encounter. The evaluation takes 30-45 minutes and are scheduled throughout the year. TAU charges $30.00 for the team evaluation – the fee is good for three attempts should the team be deemed ‘not ready’ in one or more areas of the skills and aptitudes outlined by Pet Partners. Should you be deemed ‘not ready’, the evaluator will give feedback on what needs to be improved before you and your pet return at no additional cost. Team evaluations are scheduled monthly.  Please email if you’d like to schedule an evaluation.
PawStep 3: Health Screening
Your animal must be current on all required vaccinations and have a complete health screening form completed by their veterinarian. If you don’t already have a preferred veterinarian, you may want to contact one of the clinics listed on our Partners and Friends page.
PawStep 4: Join Us!
After completing the above steps, submit your paperwork to Pet Partners to become a registered Pet Partner Team and a member of Pet Partners. The cost for joining Pet Partners for two years is $95.00. This is reduced to $50.00 for two years if you also join TAU (because we are a Pet Partner afilliate). Therapy Animals of Utah’s annual dues are $35.00 (dues are reduced for seniors, students or the disabled). TAU provides mentoring for all of our new teams and ongoing support for our members. TAU periodically conducts continuing education classes for our members free of charge. (Download Application)

Therapy Animals of Utah – 801-706-1389
2459 West 300 North, Provo, UT, 84601

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