How to assess a new Love Dog facility

Petey comes to all site visits with me

Petey comes to all site visits with me

He is always interested in meeting new people

He is always interested in meeting new people

And he helps us choose our new partners

And he helps us choose our new partners

When the Love Dog therapy program is approached by a new facility, we always have to make a strategic decision if this is a good fit for everyone. We are a small therapy program and could not possibly serve everyone who requests us to the degree they deserve.

So the first step in the process is a conversation with the contact person.

We want to know if they currently have therapy dogs coming in or have in the past.

What is the facility population comprised of.

How do they envision the animals contributing to the health and well being of their clients.

Do they have any concerns about bringing in the animals.

Who would manage the program at their end.

Then if we see potential for a partnership, we schedule a site visit and I bring one of my own dogs.  I want to make sure the clients and administration would benefit from our therapy teams and understand how we wish to partner with facilities.

We discuss Pet Partners criteria for our teams and how the Love Dog program works with facilities.

If it is not a good fit I simply explain that we have so many requests and at this time cannot take on a new facility and give them the attention they deserve. But leave the door open for the future.

I often then refer them to other programs they can reach out to.

This past month the Love Dogs was privileged to be mentioned in an article about therapy animals as a program to pursue. This ran in several local media and we had many calls as the result of this unsolicited publicity.

The best result of this press was several people inquiring about how to become therapy teams and I am happily filling the next Pet Partner Workshop.

We also had had many facilities approach us and out of the pack two wonderful new partners arose. We are excited to build therapy programs in facilities with populations that are important to us and places that have not had animals in before.

This careful approach to taking on new partner facilities has resulted in long term relationships and very happy therapy teams and clients.