How do I know if I have the right pet to volunteer with Gabriel’s Angels?

Pets that are candidates for our program must be comfortable around and tolerate children petting and hugging them. They must be predictable in their behavior as well as pass basic obedience skills (walk on a loose leash or heel, sit, stay, down, and come commands). Pets must be at least one year of age to be screened and registered. 

How can my pet and I become a registered Pet Therapy Team?

Your first step would be to attend one of our monthly Information Sessions. During the session, we cover all that is necessary to become a registered Pet Therapy Team. Please see our Events page for details on dates and times.

My pet and I are already registered through Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society)or Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs Inc). How can we become a Pet Therapy Team with Gabriel’s Angels?

Congratulations on being registered as a Therapy Team! The next step would be to attend one of our monthly Information Sessions. Please see our Events page for details on dates and times of these meetings.

I don’t have a pet. Can I still volunteer?

Yes, we have many other wonderful volunteer opportunities. Please see our Volunteer section for information about our volunteer opportunities.

What exactly happens on the Pet Therapy visits?

During our visits, the human part of the team encourages the children to pet, brush, hug or speak to the pet. These activities enable the child to experience unconditional love (maybe for the first time), build feelings of trust, empathy, and respect and join in group behavior. This interaction also allows the children to achieve outward focus and forget about their problems for the moment. The children walk the pet on a leash with the help of the handler, bring the pet water and reward the pet for obeying basic obedience commands. The latter activity allows the child to experience positive control and heightens their self-esteem when the pet listens and responds. These represent part of the many ways our pets and volunteers interact with the children.

Is there a certain breed of dog you prefer to be a Therapy Dog?

There are no breed requirements for Pet Partners (Delta Society) or Therapy Dogs, Inc. registration. All dogs must be of predictable, sound temperament, love to interact with children and be at least one year old.

Do you use only dogs in your program?

As of May 2016, we have 185 registered Therapy Teams. All of these are handlers and their dogs, except for three registered mini-horse.

What are the related costs and requirements to be a registered Therapy Team?

If you choose PetPartners:

  • In-person workshop OR an on-line training course are available and mandatory – $70 (lower costs available for seniors, military, and students), please check the website.
  • Evaluation: One approximate 45-minute evaluation at a pre-determined facility. NO FEE unless the evaluator has to travel a distance. You can clarify when you set up the evaluation.
  • Registration: $95.00 for two years
  • Re-evaluation every two years
  • Additional evaluated handler or dog in same household – $30
  • No Pet Partners vest required for Gabriels Angels
  • Provides $2 million primary liability insurance

       If you choose Alliance of Therapy Dogs:

  • Evaluation: 3-4 evaluations at various locations, including two medical facilities, No Fee.
  • Registration: Initial $40, thereafter $30 annually
  • Re-evaluation every seven years, however Gabriel’s Angels reserves the right to ask for a re-evaluation every two years
  • Additional evaluated handler or dog in same household – $10
  • Provides $5 million primary liability insurance

Above expenses, including mileage to and from visits, are tax deductible.(Additional Fees for Fingerprinting and DPS Background Check, please refer to Fingerprinting FAQ)

Does Gabriel’s Angels place me in a facility once I am a volunteer?

Yes. Depending upon your schedule, available population, and the facility’s request, we place you in an appropriate facility and attend your first couple of visits to be sure it is a good fit.

How do you decide what type of facility and age group is right for my pet and me?

We decide together! This determination is primarily made based on your pet’s size, personality, and temperament. We serve children infant to 18 years of age in a variety of facilities.

Can a team cancel a visit? Do I have to be consistent?

Consistency is paramount for these children. Certainly, things come up that may require you to cancel a visit. However, the children do miss you when you don’t show up. Our teams visit for 45 minutes to one hour weekly or every other week, so the time commitment is minimal. If you know in advance that you will miss your visit, please notify both the facility’s Volunteer Coordinator and your Volunteer Coordinator at Gabriel’s Angels.

Do you provide Pet Therapy for nursing homes, hospitals etc., or do you just focus on facilities serving abused or at-risk children?

Gabriel’s Angels’ mission is to deliver healing pet therapy to at-risk children, nurturing their emotional development and enhancing the quality of their lives forever. We focus strictly on this mission, however, there are other organizations providing visiting animals to local nursing homes, rehab clinics and hospice care facilities.

How old must my pet be to be registered?

Pets must be at least one year of age to be registered for therapy work with Gabriel’s Angels.

Is there liability insurance for my pet and me when we are volunteering for Gabriel’s Angels?

With your registration from Pet Partners (Delta Society) you receive a two million dollar primary liability policy. With your registration from Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs, Inc.), you receive a five million dollar primary liability policy. This policy is in effect when you are volunteering as a Therapy Team and are adhering to proper procedures.

Can I volunteer in any other capacity outside of Gabriel’s Angels once I am registered?

Yes, you are registered to work at a variety of facilities including nursing homes, rehab centers, hospice situations. Be aware, however, that these facilities may have additional requirements before you can visit with the clients. Please contact these organizations directly for their specific requirements.

What requirements does Gabriel’s Angels have for me to be a volunteer?

To become part of our Therapy Team program, you and your pet must be screened and registered with Pet Partners (Delta Society) or Therapy Dogs Inc., fill out our Volunteer Application and Waiver, submit and pass a finger print clearance check. We also ask for three personal references. Your pet must have a health examination by his/her veterinarian. Helping Hand volunteers must follow these same guidelines, with the exception of pet registration and animal health screening. Please note:  Therapy Dog International will not allow their registered teams to participate in formal groups such as Gabriel’s Angels. Therefore, for insurance purposes, we can only accept therapy teams registered with Pet Partners or Alliance of Therapy Dogs.  Note:  This is a decision by Therapy Dog International not Gabriel’s Angels.

Do I have to be fingerprinted?

Yes, all Pet Therapy and Helping Hand volunteers must be fingerprinted, as is mandated by the State of Arizona. DPS Fingerprint Clearance card is needed, if the volunteer does not have it, there is a charge for fingerprinting (usually about $5 – $15 depending upon Fingerprinting Services business and location) and a DPS background check charge of $65 – $70.

What confidentiality agreements are required?

Gabriel’s Angels requires that you sign a confidentiality agreement and adhere to both our rules and that of the facilities served in order to safeguard the children we serve.

Once I pass my evaluation what do I do with my paperwork?

First, make copies of all your completed paperwork and then mail it to the appropriate registering organization, Pet Partners (Delta Society) or Alliance of Therapy Dogs (Therapy Dogs, Inc.) When you have completed the paperwork and you receive your registration badge, make copies of that as well and call our office to schedule your personal orientation.