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Tails of Joy Animal Assisted Therapy
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Providing Therapeutic Benefit to People
Through the Use of Animals

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

HomeTeam Evaluations

Team Evaluations

Tails of Joy sponsors evaluations for Intermountain Therapy Animals  and Pet Partners® Teams. Evaluations are conducted by our member licensed evaluators with the volunteer assistance of our members.

Evaluations are by appointment only. You must pre-register for the evaluation by contacting Beth Hajek at Please specify ITA Evaluation or Pet Partners® in your email.

We encourage you to attend Tails of Joy meetings, which are an opportunity to talk with registered therapy team handlers and other TOJ volunteers and to ask questions about the evaluation and / or registration process.

We also offer Therapy Dog Training Class for those who want to learn more about pet therapy or who want assistance learning the skills required to make a great therapy team.

Intermountain Therapy Animals  (ITA)

Handlers wishing to register with Intermountain Therapy Animals must be a member of an affiliate group such as Tails of Joy and complete their Team Training Course.

More information is available at

Tails of Joy regularly sponsors Intermountain Therapy Animals Evaluations, one of the steps to becoming an ITA Therapy Team. You must pre-register for the evaluation by contacting Beth Hajek. There is a $30 fee for the Evaluation.

ITA registration process includes:

  • Completion of the ITA Team Training Course.
  • Evaluation by an ITA-licensed Team Evaluator.
  • Pet Health screening by your veterinarian.
  • Completed ITA Registration Packet.
  • Fee to Intermountain Therapy Animals

Pet Partners®

Handlers wishing to register with Pet Partners® must complete their course. Information is available at

Tails of Joy regularly sponsors Pet Partners® Evaluations, one of the steps to becoming a Registered Pet Partners® Team. You must pre-register for the evaluation by contacting Beth Hajek. There is a $30 fee for the Evaluation. You may find other Evaluation listings on the Pet Partners website.

Pet Partners Team registration process includes:

  • Completed Pet Partners Registration Packet.
  • Pet Health screening by your veterinarian.
  • Pet Partners® Team Evaluation by a Pet Partners licensed Team Evaluator.
  • Fee to Pet Partners.
  • All materials must be submitted to Pet Partners within 90 days of passing the Pet Partners® Team Evaluation.

Pet Partners® determines the requirements for the Pet Partners® program. Full program information is available at their website:


By RozeLyn Beck

As a pet partner team that thoroughly enjoys our work, December 5, 2011 was a very, very bad day for Cadbury and me. We “failed” that all important re-test that is required every two years. I say “we”, and that was clearly the case. Cadbury and I have been a pet partner team for 4 years. We passed our original evaluation, and then we passed a reevaluation two years later. With my registration up for renewal in March 2012, I decided to test in December 2011.

Cadbury is an amazing animal and is great with patients when we visit both Mt. Sinai Rehabilitation and Bloomfield Health Care. Despite periodically practicing the skills that are part of the test starting a couple of weeks before the evaluation, things didn’t go as planned.

Both Cadbury and I were off – and we knew we didn’t do well. Paul and Sue, the evaluators, had the difficult job of confirming our worst fear that day. We failed. Both Cadbury and I felt totally dejected as we left and we spent the day moping around the house – yes, Cadbury moped, as did I.

Giving up on therapy work was not an option – at least not without a fight. It’s way too important to us. I took the feedback from Sue and Paul to heart and we re-doubled our efforts. I worked on being more consistent with Cadbury, I coached my friends on how to better interact with her to reinforce “good” habits, and we practiced, and we practiced.

Still, it wasn’t looking good – just practicing on our own. We needed more help – and joining a Level II training class, and volunteering for the Level I training class was just what we needed. 4 years previously we had participated in these 8-week classes and it was definitely time for a refresher – for both of us!

Cadbury and I got just the help we needed. And combined with support and advice from other Tails of Joy members (my thanks to all of you) and lots and lots of regular practice in all different locations across greater Hartford , I am happy to report that on February 4th, we had a GREAT day – WE PASSED!

I share my story as a cautionary “tale” (or should I say “tail”) to other members of Tails of Joy. As the leader of the pet partner team, it’s my responsibility to be the “leader”. I do that by each and every day reinforcing the skills needed in our therapy work - expecting the best from both of us and not accepting less. And, in two years from now, I am planning to have another GREAT day.