Requirements & Screening Criteria

  • Dogs must be at least 2 years old and no older than 8 years old to qualify for screening. The owner/volunteer must be at least 18 years old.
  • It is preferred that the dog be neutered.
  • Dogs must have current Therapy Dog International, Delta Society or Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog certification.
  • Dogs must be friendly and obedient with no history of aggression or biting.
  • Entry into the program will be determined by whether the dog/owner team meets the required behavioral criteria and whether the dog meets the required medical criteria.
  • Only owners/volunteers who have tested with the dog are permitted to bring the dog to the hospital for visits. For example, if a husband and wife wish to both bring the dog to the hospital for visits, both the husband and wife are required to participate in the Temperament Evaluation Test.
  • Meeting both the behavioral and medical screening criteria is necessary for acceptance into the Pet Pals program.
  • Upon acceptance, Pet Pals volunteers are required to attend an orientation designed specifically for the Pet Pals volunteer. The orientation must be completed prior to visiting patients.
  • Upon enrollment in the program, the dog/owner team will be on probation for a total of six visits, at which time an evaluation will be completed for permanent enrollment in the program.
  • Inappropriate behavior by either the owner/volunteer or the dog may be grounds for removal from the program. A Behavior Guideline Review Board has been established to decide on inappropriate behavior cases.
  • Owners/volunteers will be expected to commit to one day (1st Tuesday, 3rd Thursday, etc.) a month.
  • Dogs enrolled in the Pet Pals program are required to have an annual documented veterinarian visit.
  • UH Cleveland Medical Center coordinates all Pet Pal volunteers except for UH Portage Medical Center.

Helpful Links

* Compliance training site
* Observation Application
* Watch OR Video
* Download OR Quiz

All observers are required to complete compliance training. Turn in confirmation page with completed observation application to the Observation Coordinator. For questions, call 216-844-1504.

Patient and Family Partnership Councils

Join a Patient and Family Partnership Council

Learn More

Maps and Directions

Click here for directions