Learn the Steps

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! Fill out the online application, send in your unexpired rabies forms and a $100 orientation donation.

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 donation, we will reserve your spot at the next orientation and let you know via email. Reserve early; orientations fill to capacity every month.

3. 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.

4. 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.

You will be off and running to visit any of our 75 D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia sites

Become a Part of Our Team

  • We get requests from sites in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia where people in need of compassion are waiting.
  • Visit our Facebook page to see PAL dogs in action and meet the fine volunteer corps you will be joining.
  • Nursing homes, assisted living, reading with children at libraries,
    mental health facilities, shelters, and hospitals —
    all filled with folks who need the warm healing power of a furry, friendly dog.