Membership Rules 


       This is a legal/binding contract between you and Dogs With A Purpose


Before a Visit:

  • Dog(s) with each applicant must have passed the Dogs With A Purpose therapy test given by one of our certified Evaluators. (Does not apply for dog[s] already registered, they can be grandfathered in upon evaluation.)

  • Dogs must be at least one-year-old to be tested and registered with Dogs With A Purpose.

  • There is no minimum age for handlers, but if a handler is under 18  they must be accompanied by an adult during the test and on visitations. The Registration form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian to certify they are responsible for the minor with a therapy dog.

  • Dogs With A Purpose annual health records form must be completed and signed by a veterinarian and is mandatory for registration and annual renewal. All Dogs With A Purpose required health procedures must be current at all times in order for you to keep making therapy visits. If any required health procedure expires, the dog is not allowed to visit as a therapy dog until the health record is updated and recorded in our records.

  • All applicants who wish to visit with more than one dog at the same time must be tested by a Dogs With A Purpose evaluator with both dogs together. The maximum amount of dogs a handler can have at once is two dogs.

  • Paid professionals who use their therapy dogs while working WILL NOT be covered under Dogs With A Purpose Volunteer Insurance Program. As long as the handler has a current, valid registration, they will be covered under Dogs With A Purpose Volunteer Insurance program while in service as a volunteer.

  • All volunteers with Dogs With A Purpose must be accompanied by a hospital representative when visiting with toddlers or babies.

  • Dogs With A Purpose dog/handler teams are prohibited from visiting any individuals who have been affected by a natural or man- made disaster without approval from Dogs with a Purpose.


During a Visit:

  • Members of Dogs With A Purpose and their dogs cannot visit, be registered by, or be active under the auspices of another Therapy Dog-related visitation program, organization, or group other than Dogs With A Purpose.

  • Female dogs must not be in estrus “In Season” when participating in therapy work. Dogs With A Purpose member dogs are not required to be spayed or neutered.

  • Dogs must be clean and well-groomed when visiting.

  • Dogs must be kept on leash at all times when visiting. The handler must pay attention to the dog at all times.

  • Each Dogs With A Purpose dog must be readily identified by wearing a flat buckle collar or harness and a Dogs With A Purpose ID tag on all visits and on all public appearances when acting as a Dogs With A Purpose therapy dog team. (Training collars, training harnesses, martingales or any other corrective training devices are not permitted.) Dogs are permitted to wear costumes for special occasions or any type of vest to identify them as a therapy dog.

  • A current Dogs With A Purpose ID Card with the member and dog and handler’s photo and name of handler and dog is mandatory when visiting under the auspices of Dogs With A Purpose.

  • During pet therapy visits, member dogs are to be used solely for emotional therapy. Our dogs are not to be used for physical therapy of any sort, i.e., pulling patients on gurneys or wheeled vehicles. Our purpose is to provide comfort and companionship. Petting and general affection are only two physical actions that should go on during a visit.

  • Anything learned about any individuals while visiting under the auspices of Dogs With A Purpose is private information and is not to be shared with anyone. Many facilities have a confidentiality policy that they will ask you to sign.

  • Members who are participating in therapy dog work in the legal or criminal justice system should not be present during any attorney client/witness interactions.


After a Visit:

  • I agree to inform Dogs With A Purpose immediately in writing if my dog(s) shows any form of aggressive behavior toward other dogs or persons. I also agree to notify Dogs With A Purpose in writing about any change of temperament and will refrain from visiting with my dog(s) in a therapy dog capacity until the matter has been resolved.


General Conduct:

  • I understand that neither of my dog’s certification nor my voluntary participation in Dogs With A Purpose is to be used for myself or for any personal/financial benefit including, but not limited to, the misuse of Dogs With A Purpose certification: to gain access to public accommodations (other than therapy facilities), which are not generally accessible to dogs or for the sale of dogs.

  • Public relations appearances using the Dogs With A Purpose name or logo, by associates, must be authorized in advance by Dogs With A Purpose. During therapy visitations, public appearances, and dealings with the media, members must identify themselves as members of Dogs With A Purpose with the use of their ID tag, and Dogs With A Purpose telephone number and/or address should be given to the media.

  • I will present myself with the utmost courtesy and professionalism when representing Dogs With A Purpose. I will present myself and my dog(s) as courteous, caring, and well-prepared volunteers who project the good will, which Dogs With A Purpose has fostered in its members. Any slanderous behavior toward other Dogs With A Purpose Members is not acceptable. Any slanderous behavior toward another organization is not acceptable and will be reported to that organization.

  • My primary objective in wishing to become a Member of Dogs With A Purpose is to share the companionship of my dog with those whom we encounter on our therapy visits.

  • I understand that the Volunteer Insurance coverage provided by Dogs With A Purpose through Kennel Pro is strictly limited to accidental injury or damages. Said insurance will not cover injuries or damages if I violate Dogs With A Purpose Rules and Regulations while visiting. Furthermore, I agree to indemnify and hold Dogs With A Purpose harmless for such injuries or damages.

  • My signature indicates that I have been provided a copy of Dogs With A Purpose Rules and Regulations and have read and understand my responsibilities and obligations under them. I agree to abide by all of these rules and upon renewal as a member to abide by the Rules applicable to all associates as amended from time to time. I have answered all questions on this form truthfully and to the best of my knowledge. I acknowledge that my violation of these Rules could result in a review of my Dogs With A Purpose status by the Dogs With A Purpose Board of Directors, and may result in the possible imposition of any of the following sanctions: review of the applicant’s suitability to become/or remain an Associate; a probationary period imposed; a long-term suspension of my Dogs With A Purpose privileges; or a requirement that my dog(s) be re-tested by an independent Evaluator.

  • If your membership is not renewed by the end of the calendar month you were granted your membership, renewal will not be possible without retesting.


Dogs With A Purpose is an independent organization and its members shall not work for another organization utilizing or piggybacking on the Dogs with a Purpose member’s certification. The Dogs With A Purpose certification can only be used for Dogs With A Purpose activities while following Dogs With A Purpose rules for visits and participation.


Dogs With A Purpose is a self-perpetuating organization and its members may develop contacts with facilities to visit. Dogs With A Purpose members’ must maintain their Dogs With A Purpose identity independent of any other group organization. If a Dogs With A Purpose member is solicited by another group or organization to participate as a member of that group or organization using their Dogs With A Purpose certification the Dogs With A Purpose member is required to report this solicitation to Dogs With A Purpose.