1. Register your animal as a therapy animal. Sprite’s HERO, Inc. accepts registration through:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs, www.therapydogs.com
- Pet Partners (formerly Delta Pet Partners), www.petpartners.org
- Registration consists of temperament testing of your dog, team testing of both of you and written testing of yourself. Alliance of Therapy Dogs requires observed visits with the evaluator and an annual quiz. Pet Partners requires re-evaluation every two years.
- The cost of the liability insurance coverage varies by registering organization.
- Volunteers must follow all guidelines and procedures required of his/her registering organization. Keep his/her therapy program insurance up to date and provide copies of the insurance renewal/ID card to Sprite’s HERO, Inc.
- NOTE: to work in Henrico you must register with Alliance of Therapy Dogs
2. Complete this Sprite’s HERO, Inc. application Form: Sprite’s HERO, Inc. vol application Jan 2016
3. Contact Sprite’s HERO to sign up for the next Paws to R.E.A.D. volunteer training class to become a registered R.E.A.D. team.
- Purchase the R.E.A.D. training manual before class;
- Complete the ITA application and quiz in the manual at the class;
- Pay the one-time fee to ITA to register as a R.E.A.D. team;
- Follow all guidelines and procedures from ITA and the R.E.A.D. program.
4. Shadow an existing Sprite’s HERO, Inc. Paws to R.E.A.D. team without your dog to observe the process and ask any questions.
5. Visit with your dog and be observed by an existing volunteer.
6. Purchase Sprite’s HERO T-shirt and R.E.A.D. dog vest.
7. Within one year of becoming a volunteer, complete the VCU online Foundations of Autism course. This is a free big picture overview of the autism spectrum and provides background on the symptoms and challenges you may face working with children with autism.
8. Complete additional continuing education as required by Sprite’s HERO.
9. Attend annual general meeting, other training functions, fund raising and marketing programs throughout the year.
For a printable visual version click here: HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER