FAQs

Therapeutic Paws of Canada™ (TPOC) is following Health Canada Covid guidelines requiring proof of vaccination & face masks are mandatory during all TPOC events.

Any questions that are not covered here can be answered by your local Team Leader.

Therapeutic Paws of Canada™ is a national registered charity offering free therapy pet visitations.

In August 2002 TPOC was registered and received the Letters Patent. In May 2003 TPOC was recognized as a charitable entity with charitable registration no. 86535 9350 RR0001.

An official tax receipt may be requested for a minimum donation of $20.00.

The Board of Directors direct the organization. In addition, there are numerous Team Leaders, Evaluators and Coordinators.

TPOC is wholly dependent upon donations.

Each handler and dog/cat must successfully pass the Therapy Pet Evaluation. The handler must be willing to submit to a vulnerable sector police records check, supply three references and both the handler and pet must demonstrate appropriate visiting skills at subsequent monitored visits.

Each member must provide a vulnerable person police record check however, TPOC will accept a police check done on behalf of another organization if completed within the previous 12 months. It must clearly indicate that it was a vulnerable person records search. Along with a copy of this type of police certificate, the volunteer must sign a TPOC Confirmation form verifying that nothing has changed.

No. TPOC does not allow anyone with a criminal record to join, regardless of the type of conviction or length of time from the conviction.

Each handler and their dog/cat that interacts with children in hospitals, schools, libraries etc. must have passed the Therapy Pet Evaluation, visited with adults/senior for 6 months and successfully complete the Interaction with Children evaluation to become Child Certified.

Every member over the age of 18 is insured while on their approved TPOC visit.

The evaluation fee is $40.00 per pet/per handler.

TPOC charges an annual Team Administrative Fee of $35.00 per volunteer to cover the expenses for essential services i.e., website, training seminars, accountant services, insurance.

Children 14 to 18 years old may join TPOC but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who are also an approved TPOC member. These younger members must also receive a clear vulnerable sector police records check.

Pets – All TPOC pets must wear the TPOC red scarf on all visits. The TPOC pet vest is mandatory for all Child Certified handler/pet team.

Handler – When visiting, all TPOC handlers must wear the red visiting shirt/vest bearing the yellow TPOC logo. Clean pants or jeans may be worn. Knee length shorts may be worn. The clothes worn must not be frayed, patched or shabby in appearance. Facilities require that all volunteers wear shoes, not open toe sandals, when visiting. This is for hygienic and safety reasons.

Dogs/cats weighing less than 15 pounds (6.8 kg) may be placed in someone’s lap or on someone’s bed after the handler places a pad, mat or towel down for the pet to lay on.

Visits are 45 minutes – maximum one hour. For hygiene reasons you would never visit more than one facility in a day.

You must thoroughly brush your dog’s coat, clean their ears and teeth and make sure that the nails are cut short and filed smooth prior to each visit.

No. A dog/cat off leash is a hazard in a setting with frail, elderly people or small children. Always think of the safety and wellbeing of the people you are visiting.

Yes. Dogs can be evaluated on a TPOC approved no pull/correction harness. Cats are evaluated on a TPOC approved harness only. Note that TPOC does not allow the use of extendable/flexi leashes in the evaluation or during visitation.

No. TPOC guidelines state only one dog (on leash) per handler when visiting.

There is a lot of controversy over the need to vaccinate your pet annually, particularly a mature dog. TPOC insists on seeing a vaccination certificate when the dog/cat is evaluated but will accept a Health Certificate or a copy of a Titer test.

Please note that some facilities are refusing to allow a pet that is fed a raw food diet access to their premises.

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