Prior to applying for membership in the K-9's for Kids unit, teams must have successfully passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test (www.akc.org), an approved Pediatric Therapy Dog Training Class that actively tests and proofs the participating dogs and handlers with children of all ages, and must pass the K-9's for Kids Performance and Evaluation Test. Dogs must be over 18 months of age, must exhibit excellent social skills around other dogs, must be able to respond reliably to obedience cues in highly distracting environments, and must absolutely adore being around kids. Dogs must be current on all required vaccinations, supply negative heartworm and fecal test results, and be physically capable of supplying therapy services. Handlers must be comfortable having any necessary background checks performed that are required by our various visitation locations, including a CORI (criminal offender record information).
The K-9's for Kids Performance and Evaluation Test is offered once a year to teams that have completed the above necessary prerequisites at a cost of $10.00.
After successful completion of the K-9's for Kids Evaluation Test, teams are invited to join the unit. Handlers must purchase the identifying vest and canine bandana that is our uniform, supply the necessary membership and canine medical forms to be kept on file, pay the $50 annual membership dues, and agree to perform at least 4 visits/year. Pediatric Visits are set up through the director; adult visitation locations are set up by the individual handler.