Why become an AaTs Credentialed Therapy Team?

If you would like to utilize a therapy dog in a professional environment or are interested in volunteering with your own dog, it is critical to receive the proper training. Students of the AaTs Credentialed Therapy Program can expect to graduate with a sense of confidence, knowing that they've been well-prepared to enter diverse settings and situations. As a member of our organization, you'll receive on-going support from our trainers to ensure your success in animal therapy work. Additionally, members are eligible for insurance coverage through AaTs.


Who We Are

We are certified professional dog trainers and therapists who provide our trainees with the tools, support, and education to assist a variety of populations.


AaTs Liability Coverage

In addition to training, professionals become credentialed members of AaTs who receive coverage under AaTs liability insurance. While other programs may offer insurance, these benefits typically only cover volunteers. AaTs liability coverage is unique in that it is extended to professionals who use their therapy dog within their own practice. 

AaTs Credentialed Therapy Program Pre-Requisites

Candidates MUST have taken the following courses:

  • AaTs Introduction to Animal Assisted Interventions

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen course (must pass the evaluation)

Required Course:

In addition to taking the pre-requisites, students will take the Foundation for the Public Access Test. Upon passing the evaluation with their dog, students are eligible for AaTs membership as a Credentialed Therapy Team.

Intro to Animal Assisted Interventions

This five hour seminar is packed with information on the use of Animal Assisted Interventions and the potential effect for a variety of populations. Discussion includes a brief history of Animal Assisted Therapy, Animal Assisted Activities versus Animal Assisted Therapy, facilities, clientele, visits, and insurance considerations. 

The Public Access Test is perused so handlers become acquainted with the final evaluation to become a Credentialed AaTs Therapy Dog Team. 

Very informative!

This seminar is offered upon demand. Call the office to pre-register as a minimum of four participants must be registered for the session. Date TBA.


Handlers only. No dogs.

Foundation for the Public Access Test

These are scheduled private sessions with dog and handler to assist in the final preparation for the Public Access Test Evaluation.  As many sessions as needed can be scheduled, with the average being 3-4 meetings.


Evaluation: $25

AaTs Membership

Once the handler and dog have passed the Public Access Test, one year membership in AaTs will include liability insurance for the team.

Membership: $45/year

For questions or registration please contact Chris Patella, (203) 804-5343 or chris.patella@aatsct.org