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Who Let the Dogs In

  • Category: In the News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Heidi Sparling, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Sherri DavisKern Medical Center Auxiliary is bringing Pet Therapy to KMC. In preparation for a Pet Therapy program, Sherry Davis, owner of CSI 4 K9’s and Barbara Lee, a TDI Certified Evaluator were invited to bring their therapy dogs, Tiger Woods and Frank to a special meeting on Wednesday, August 20th.

As members of Therapy Dogs International (TDI), Sherry and Barbara provided an interesting overview on registering dogs and handlers for providing therapy to patients who would benefit from a visit by a furry friend.

Therapy Dogs International is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

TDI registers all breeds of dogs. Some dogs have pedigrees, while others have been adopted from local shelters or are rescue dogs.

To belong to Therapy Dogs International, all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one (1) year of age, be healthy and have a sound temperament. The handler must be of good character. Handlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on visits.

two women with two dogsTDI cannot register service dogs. People with disabilities requiring a service dog cannot use the service dog as a therapy dog.

All TDI dogs are required to meet the following health requirements before being registered:

  1. Annual check-up attested by your Veterinarian within the past year.
  2. Mandatory Rabies vaccine, given by the Veterinarian.
  3. An initial series of core Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus Vaccinations.
  4. A negative Fecal Exam must have been done within the past year.
  5. A negative Heartworm test must have been done within the past year.

In learning that Therapy Dogs International ensures the highest standards are met and maintained by handlers and pets, only TDI registered pet handlers will be allowed to bring therapy dogs for patient visitation at Kern Medical Center. So, watch for big to little furry pets to visit in the near future.

If you would like to find out if your pooch would make a good therapy dog, you can contact Sherry Davis at 717.6291.