VIP Dog Teams matches therapy dogs with qualified applicants in the Tri-Counties based on the strengths and skills of the dog and the ability of the handler to make a perfect therapy Team to serve the community.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs help give comfort and affection to individuals when they need it most. Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, an owner can have their own dog as a therapy animal.  Definition of a Therapy Dog by Wikipedia They provide people with contact to dogs but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers and work with their handlers to provide services to others.  Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have “no pets” policies.   Therapy dogs are given basic obedience training and then it is recommended to take a Therapy Prep Class. At which time a dog is tested for both obedience and temperament.  Once they pass a therapy dog test with their partner, they can be registered with a therapy dog organization.  Registration offers several benefits both to volunteers and to the facilities they visit.

At a school for children with autism, a facility dog can help up 20 or more students a day, assisting them to meet their academic, social and communication goals.

At a military clinic, a Facility Dog can make a difference by providing comfort and motivation for a veteran going through painful exercises needed to gain strength and mobility.

VIP Dog Teams matches facility dogs with qualified professionals in the Tri-Counties based on the strengths and skills of the dog and the needs of the population they serve.

Facility Dogs

In addition to dogs that are trained to assist an individual, VIP Dog Teams also trains dogs to serve the needs of many in our Facility Dog program. These highly specialized dogs assist professionals (teachers, therapists, medical providers) who use the dog in the work place to accomplish client related goals in providing animal assisted therapy for individuals with autism in schools and the therapy centers as well as Wounded Warriors in outpatient clinics. Facility dogs assist these populations by serving as a model and motivator, helping them to meet their therapeutic goals.  These dogs generally live with their handler.  Public access for these dogs is only in the work environment when accompanied by the professional handler.

Therapy and Facility Dogs are not Service dogs and do not have the same public access rights. For more information about Service Dogs please see Wikipedia.

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs provide therapeutic support to disabled or elderly owners through companionship, non-judgmental positive regard, affection, and a focus in life. Definition of a Emotional Support Dog by Wikipedia Emotional support dogs are allowed in public housing but do not have public access rights as guaranteed by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). They are not necessarily task trained like service dogs and are generally required to be reasonably well behaved by pet standards. This means that the dog is fully toilet trained and has no bad habits that would disturb neighbors such as frequent or lengthy episodes of barking.  The dog must not pose a danger to other tenants or to workmen.

Companion Dogs

Companion dogs are not legally defined, but generally considered pet dogs.

Autism Service Dogs - VIP Dog Teams