How to Volunteer

If you have a kind and compassionate dog who needs to socialize with people, then you should become a volunteer with PAL’s Pet Visiting Program. Dog therapy is the best kind of therapy! Friendly dogs and their friendly owners bring love, affection and wet noses to people in need throughout the DC metro area. To be able to witness your dog interact with and bring happiness to a human being is one of the most rewarding things to see.

Link to Google Form

Learn the Steps

There are five easy and fun steps to becoming part of the PAL dog therapy team:

1. Say YES to these four statements:

  • My dog and I friendly, and we enjoy interacting with other people and dogs.
  • My dog is one year or older and he or she can follow basic commands like sit, stay, and come.
  • If my dog is male, he has been neutered.
  • If I am younger than 16, I will be accompanied by an adult.

2. GREAT! You’re ready for the paperwork! Download the Orientation Package now. Orientation Package

You’ll find information on visiting, the PAL Volunteer Application Form, and the PAL Pet Health Form.

3. Send in your forms and a $100 gift.

100% of your $100 tax deductible gift funds our Pet Visit program. Your orientation gift is how we keep tails wagging with seniors, early readers and so many others. Thank you in advance for your gifts of time and money.

Once you send us your volunteer application, your dog’s health form and your gift, we will reserve your spot at the next orientation and let you know via email. Reserve early; orientations fill to capacity every month.

4. Now the fun begins! Attend your volunteer orientation

Meet wonderful dogs and delightful people at your orientation. These are held monthly at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and last about an hour. Watch this video to see the beautiful dogs and kind-hearted volunteers learning about dog therapy.

You will meet our volunteer coordinator and he will observe your dog’s temperament, review information, and answer questions. The final activity is your first dog therapy visit right at AFRH.

5. More fun! Go on two evaluation visits

At orientation, you receive a list of sites for the two evaluation visits. Experienced and friendly PAL Group Leaders answer your questions, give you tips and advice and complete the evaluation form.

After two visits, you send in your evaluation form.

After a few days, you will receive a “Welcome to PAL!” email that will get your started. Check out PAL’s Facebook page, where we will let the world know your dog is certified as a PAL therapy dog. You will then receive your PAL bling: a bandanna and a “My Dogs a Volunteer” car sticker in the mail.

You will be off and running to visit any of our 50 D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia sites

Connect and Tell Us About It!

  • Why Volunteer?
  • Learn the Steps
  • Connect and Tell Us About It!