Tails of Joy Animal Asssisted Therapy, Connecticut

Providing Therapeutic Benefit to People
Through the Use of Animals

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Tails of Joy members volunteer throughout Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and neighboring towns in Connecticut.

Click on the question to get answers to some frequently asked questions.

If you have a question that is not answered here please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Animal Assisted Activity? Animal Assisted Activity
Photo By Ross Taylor
What is Animal Assisted Therapy?
Can I take my dog to an extended care facility without being registered?
Why should my pet and I be evaluated and certified?
Does Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) require classroom instruction prior to Pet Partners Registration?
Does the age of the animal matter?
Does the animal have to be spayed / neutered?
Does my animal have to have all its vaccinations?
What kind of animals can provide Animal Assisted Therapy?
How do I know if my animal is suited for therapy work?
Can I get involved with Tails of Joy without a pet?
Can I get paid for providing AAA or AAT?
What is the difference between service, therapy, companion, and “social” animals?
What does it mean that Tails of Joy is a 501(c)(3) organization?
How much does Tails of Joy charge for visits?

Answers

We have the answers to frequently asked questions.

What is Animal Assisted Activity?
AAA is the casual “meet-and-greet” activity that involves pets visiting people. The same activity can be repeated with many people, unlike a therapy program that is tailored to a particular person or medical condition.
Delta Society Pet Partners Team Training Course Manual, 5th Edition, December 2000.
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What is Animal Assisted Therapy?
AAT is goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. Goals can by physical, educational, motivational or mental health oriented. In addition to goals, AAT programs measure the individual’s progress.
Delta Society Pet Partners Team Training Course Manual, 5th Edition, December 2000.
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Can I take my dog to an extended care facility without being registered?
You can, but that is not advisable. You and your dog should be evaluated by a trained evaluator. Registration also eliminates the risk of not having the proper insurance.

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Why should my pet and I be evaluated and certified?
Organizations like the Delta Society set standards for AAA and AAT and help ensure that visiting teams have the skills and aptitude to make a good team. Once registered, you and your pet are covered by a liability insurance policy while volunteering.

Many facilities consider the Pet Partners requirements as the gold standard and have adopted them as their own. Pet Partner Teams only need to submit their membership card in order to visit.
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Does Pet Partners require classroom instruction prior to Pet Partners Registration?
No, classroom instruction is not required. Tails of Joy offers Therapy Dog Classes to help those who want to learn more about pet therapy or who want assistance learning the required skills. Pet Partners also offers a home study course.
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Does the age of the animal matter?
Yes it does, an animal must be at least one year of age to begin providing therapy. Animals younger than one year of age should be enrolled in a training program.

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Does the animal have to be spayed I neutered?
No, an animal does not need to be spayed or neutered to provide Animal Assisted Therapy.

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Does my animal have to have all its vaccinations?
Delta Society registration requires that each animal must be up to date with rabies vaccination and any other state required vaccine. Individual facilities may have their own requirements.
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What kind of animals can provide Animal Assisted Therapy?
Almost any animal can provide Animal Assisted Therapy. With the correct training, animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, some birds, and even llamas are successfully used as therapy animals.
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How do I know if my animal is suited for therapy work?
You and your pet should have an interest in people and enjoy visiting. Your pet should be healthy, have at least a basic level of training and be reliable, even in crowded or unexpected situations. Some essentials:
  • Animal likes being petted, touched and hugged
  • Animal demonstrates reliable, controllable, predictable behavior
  • Animal actively solicits interactions with people
  • Animal is able to remain calm in disruptive settings
  • Animal is outgoing, friendly and confident in new settings

If your animal is unpredictable, doesn’t like being around people, or is aggressive to people or other animals it would not be suitable for therapy work.
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Can I get involved with Tails of Joy without a pet?
Yes, Tails of Joy has a Supporting category of Membership and there are many opportunities to get involved. Supporting members can attend monthly meetings, assist at any of the many events TOJ attends each year including town fairs, health fairs, and pet shows, maintain records of places visited or the group scrapbook, or be a volunteer for Delta evaluations.
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Can I get paid for providing AAA or AAT?
No, Tails of Joy is a volunteer organization. Members donate their time to bring happiness to others. Any expenses you incur providing therapy, including mileage, uniform, and extra expenses for grooming, may be tax deductible.
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What is the difference between service, therapy, companion, and “social” animals?
Service animals are legally defined by the American's with Disabilities Act (1990) and are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals wit disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places.

Federal law does not legally define therapy animals, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies. Therapy animals usually are not service animals.

Companion animal is not legally defined, but is accepted as another term for pet. "Social/therapy" animals likewise have no legal definition. They often are animals that did not complete service animal or service dog training due to health, disposition, trainability, or other factors, and are made available as pets for people who have disabilities. These animals might or might not meet the definition of service animals.
© Delta Society
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What does it mean that Tails of Joy is a 501(c)(3) organization?
501(c)(3) refers to the Internal Revenue Service's tax code that allows a corporation to operate as a nonprofit and accept contributions from the public without paying taxes. This designation also allows you to count your contribution as a tax deduction.
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How much does Tails of Joy charge for visits?
Tails of Joy members volunteer their time and do not charge for any pet therapy visit.
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Intermountain Therapy Animals

Tails of Joy is an ITA Affiliate Organization

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