Step Three: Pet Partners® Evaluation
Ready to sign up for an Evaluation?
There are two steps to register for an ABLEPaws sponsored Pet Partners Evaluation:
- Register on the Pet Partners website through the Volunteer Center
Contact ABLEPaws Evaluation Coordinator Amy Greenway with any questions or concerns.
Checklist of what to bring to an evaluation:
- Your completed Handler’s Questionnaire Form for team evaluator review
- Proof of current rabies vaccination, such as a certificate or vaccination records from the veterinarian
- A towel, small blanket or basket, if the animal will be carried
- An acceptable collar or harness and an acceptable leash
- Course Completion Certificate for either the in-person Handler’s Workshop or the Online Handler Workshop for new teams; a previous Pet Partners badge for renewing teams.
- A brush or comb that the animal is accustomed to, and that would be appropriate to take on a visit
- Treats to use for one specific evaluation exercise, but note food rewards may not otherwise be given during the evaluation
- If you’re between the ages of 10 and 16: A parent or guardian to accompany you at the evaluation
- If you are requesting modifications to evaluation exercises or permission to use equipment not listed as acceptable, a letter of accommodation provided to you by Pet Partners
The type of equipment that your animal wears during the evaluation is the same type that it must wear when visiting. Animals evaluating for the first time with Pet Partners should wear only their collar or harness and a leash - vests and bandanas are not permitted.
- Harnesses: front clip, back clip, step in, vest or slip harness. A harness may have multiple connection points, but only one connection point is acceptable to be used for the evaluation or while visiting. The harness should fit the animal properly and the animal should feel comfortable wearing it.
- Buckle, snap or quick-release collars in leather, fabric or other breathable synthetic materials.
- Limited-slip collars (such as Martingales), provided that they don’t include metal links
- Halters/head collars.
- Leashes or leads, no more than 6 feet in length, made of leather, fabric or synthetic material, with only one connection point.
- Metal hardware, such as buckles, slip rings and D-rings are acceptable as part of any of the above equipment.
The following are examples of equipment that’s considered inappropriate for both evaluations and visits:
- Special training collars, such as prong, electric or spray collars.
- Metal collars and harnesses, including Martingales that have metal links.
- Full-slip collars of any type.
- Leashes that have any amount of metal chain.
- Retractable leashes.
- Leashes that are longer than 6 feet.
- Hands-free leashes, such as those secured around the handler’s waist or shoulder.
- Pouches, purses or bags designed to carry an animal.
- Novelty items: please refer to our Costumes FAQ in the Resource Library
Service Animal Equipment without or without the service animal designation:
Anyone wishing to use a specially designed harness for service animals must request and receive an accommodation from Pet Partners for the use of the equipment while on a therapy animal visit. It will be up to the Team Evaluator to determine if the equipment is in fact acceptable to Pet Partners standards.
Strollers, Carts and Wagons:
To use a stroller or a cart you do need to request an accommodation for the use of the equipment. The team evaluator will be responsible for approving the stroller chosen at the time of the evaluation. All strollers and carts should be clean and safe for both the client and the animal. Pet Partners does not currently allow the use of wagons or any other device that is pulled versus being pushed.
Brushes are useful tools to have while you’re visiting, because they offer a way for people to interact with your animal. The brush that you bring to the evaluation doesn’t need to be the same one that you use to routinely groom your animal. The brush that you use as your “visiting brush” should minimize the possibility of unintentional injury to both your animal and the clients. Soft bristles and plastic handles are best. Wire bristle brushes and combs with metallic teeth aren’t considered acceptable.
For specific inquiries about appropriate equipment, contact Pet Partners.