Member Handlers:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Minimum commitment of five hours a year, and one hour per animal
    • Member must document hours and submit documentation each year as part of renewal
    • Executive Director may confirm visitations
    • Must attend or reschedule (with 48 hours notice, except in the case of genuine emergency) all scheduled visits. Two no-shows/no-calls will result in automatic dismissal from Joyous Paws.
    • Payment of application fee
    • Completed and signed evaluation.
    • Complete background check. (Criminal background does  not prevent membership. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.)
    • Submission of proof of vaccinations and negative fecal for each animal

Renewal each calendar year:

  • Mandatory observation visit each year (counts towards minimum hours)
  • Submit completed renewal form
  • Payment of fees
  • Submission of proof of vaccinations and negative fecal for each animal
  • Response to all posted communications within 15 days
  • Email and Facebook are our primary means of communication.
    • Keep your email address current
  • Notices of major importance will be sent via email and posted on our members' Facebook page. Such notices will be marked RESPONSE REQUIRED.
    • A lack of response within 15 days (unless notification that you will be unavailable) will automatically terminate your membership.
    • If you will be unable to access email or Facebook for more than 15 days, notify the office.
  • Must obey all rules and requirements for each facility and/or event attended.
    • Failure to comply with requirements can result in
      • A written warning
      • Suspension of visiting privileges for a period of up to 6 months
      • Termination of membership
    • All information related to facility patients, residents or students is confidential.
      • Posting of names, photos or other identifiable information regarding residents/patients may result in termination of membership.
  • Personal Conduct:
    • All handlers and animals must be clean and appropriately dressed and equipped during visits.
      •  Appropriate dress includes shirts and closed toed shoes, ripped jeans, mini-skirt, revealing blouses, T-shirts with political or religious statements, are NOT appropriate.
      • Member handlers and animals must wear Joyous Paws identification while visiting/volunteering with the organization.
        • Members may also wear identification of other pet therapy organizations for which they are active and current members. Any questions regarding identification should be directed to the Executive Director.
    • Be respectful and courteous to all residents, staff members, other visitors at all times.         
    • Members may not assist residents/patients with any physical activities, including assisting
    • Members may not accept monetary gifts or other tangible items from residents/patients.
      • Members may accept small gifts such as pictures or candy if permitted by facility rules.
    • Any safety concerns, violations of safety requirements by other members, or possible injuries to others MUST BE reported to the Executive Director within 24 hours.
      • Failure to report safety concerns may result in suspension or termination of visiting privileges (at the Executive Director’s discretion).
    • Any incident involving injury to a resident or other person or animal during volunteer activities MUST BE reported to the facility coordinator immediately. The incident must also be reported to the Executive Director within 24 hours.


Animal Members

  • Minimum of 1 year of age.
  • Current on vaccinations:
  • Spay/Neuter not required
    • Female dogs cannot visit while in heat or for two weeks after last active signs of heat.
  • All animals must be on leash
    • (nylon, rope or leather-no chain leashes) no longer than 5.5 feet at all times.
      • Retractable leashes are NOT allowed
    • Animals must be controlled with a properly fitted head collar, body harness, or nylon/leather neck collar.
  • Animals must be handled by their registered handler(s). All handlers must be tested with each and every animal that they will be handling.
    • Two animals may visit together with the same handler
      • Both animals must be tested together with the same handler.
  • Animal and handler teams are tested upon application to Joyous Paws.
    • All test elements must be completed successfully
    • The test MUST be conducted by an approved evaluator.
      •  A copy of the completed and signed test form must be submitted by the evaluator (even if a copy is submitted by the handler)
    • Upon successful completion of the test, each animal/handler team MUST conduct an observation visit with an approved evaluator.
      • This observation visit MUST be repeated each year prior to renewal of membership.

The Executive Director holds final authority in all matters regarding implementation and violations of all above requirements. Members will be notified in writing of suspected violations and given 30 days to respond (in the event of a violation which may result in suspension or termination of membership). Visitation privileges will be suspended during that 30-day response period. Facilities will be notified of all suspensions and terminations.

Violations of the above requirements, or reports of inappropriate behavior by either human or animal members will be fully investigated and documented!

Membership Application and other Forms

Contact Us

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Our Location

Office Hours

Office and appointment hours may vary slightly


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-5:00 pm