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Therapy animals

Therapy animals and service animals have very different purposes. Service animals are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Therapy animals provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. For more details about the distinction, please see the Pet Partners website.

Introduction to Therapy Animals

Animals of almost any kind can become therapy animals. Join us for an Introduction to Therapy Animals class and find out what it takes to become part of an animal-assisted therapy team with your pet. You will learn:

  • What is animal-assisted therapy?
  • How do I know if my pet would be a good therapy animal?
  • What kinds of training do I and my pet need to be an animal therapy team?
  • How can I get involved with the Animal Ambassadors therapy visiting program?

This introduction is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call (763) 489-2217 or contact us online. Humans only, please!

Therapy animal classes for dogs

Does your dog enjoy people? Would you like to make a difference in your community? If you answered yes to both of these questions then volunteering as a therapy dog team might be just for you!

After your dog passes the Canine Good Citizen test you are eligible to enroll in the Therapy Dog Class. You will learn the skills needed to visit the facilities of your choice (hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, physical therapy centers, and schools) by practicing  in simulated situations.

Preview sessions

A free preview to the therapy dog class will be offered to CGC graduates once a month. Please contact the Training School at (763) 489-2217 to register for upcoming preview classes.

Therapy animal classes for cats, rabbits and guinea pigs

Does your pet always seem to brighten the mood as it snuggles and nuzzles everyone in the room? Then it might have what it takes to be a therapy animal. Therapy work traditionally uses dogs, but there are a number of facilities and programs in the Twin Cities seeking small critters to come and visit. In fact, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs are in high demand at nursing homes, senior centers, schools, hospitals and other places where therapy animals help make a difference in people’s lives.

As part of the class, you and your pet will go through mock scenarios that are similar to what you would experience in a hospital or school setting. There are 20 visiting exercises that your pet must demonstrate to become a therapy animal. The class will help teach your pet behavior that is reliable, controllable and predictable. To become registered as a therapy animal team, you and your pet need to pass a Pet Partners evaluation.

To learn more about therapy animals, attend an Introduction to Therapy Animals session (registration required, no cost) at the Animal Humane Society nearest you. Training classes are offered several times a year for Therapy Cats and Therapy Rabbits/Guinea Pigs. For more information, please call (763) 489-2217 or contact us online.

Upcoming therapy animal classes

Introduction to Therapy Animals (Humans only. No pets please.)

  • Wednesday, January mal Hu22, at 7:00pm
    Golden Valley Animal Humane Society site (directions)
  • Thursday, February 13, at 7:00pm
    Woodbury Animal Humane Society site (directions)
  • Wednesday, March 19, at 7:00pm
    Golden Valley Animal Humane Society site (directions)
  • Wednesday, April 16t, at 7:00pm
    Saint Paul Animal Humane Society site (directions)
  • Wednesday, May 21, at 7:00pm
    Golden Valley Animal Humane Society site (directions)
  • Thursday, June 12, at 7:00pm
    Woodbury Animal Humane Society site (directions)

Therapy Dog Class
Call (763) 489-2217 or contact us online for more information.

Therapy Cat Class
Classes are held at the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society site (directions)  
Call (763) 489-2217 or contact us online for more information and upcoming class dates.

Therapy Rabbit and Guinea Pig Class
Classes are held at the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society site (directions)  
Call (763) 489-2217 or contact us online for more information and upcoming class dates.

Animal Ambassadors

Have you already completed a therapy animal Program? Are you interested in joining a group of other active volunteer teams?  Animal Humane Society's Animal Ambassadors are volunteers who, along with their pets, provide animal-assisted therapy and activities in assisted living facilities, libraries, schools, hospitals and airports throughout the Twin Cities metro area. These unique volunteers bring comfort, learning, and fun to the people they reach. In addition to regular therapy visiting, the Animal Ambassadors group meets quarterly for social time and learning opportunities.

To request a visit from the Animal Ambassadors at your facility, call (763) 432-4847.

Animal Humane Society locations

Buffalo

4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours
Directions

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours
Directions

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 489-2201

Operating hours
Directions

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours
Directions

Woodbury

9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours
Directions

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
  • More contact info »