For Patients and Families
Become a volunteer!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Pawprints Dog Visitation Program. Please review the volunteer guide, as well as the information below about our requirements and application process.
If you/your dog meet our requirements and are interested in being placed on the Pawprints volunteer waitlist, please fill out the waitlist request form. Waitlist status is not strictly first-come, first-served. Dog/Handler teams are chosen based on how well they match the program's needs (dog breed, dog size, time available, etc.).
As volunteer opportunities become available, the Pawprints program coordinators will invite waitlisted teams who match the program's needs to complete a full application.
If you have any questions about the Pawprints Dog Visitation Program requirements or application process, please call the Pawprints Program Coordinator at 617-355-6279.
Please note: The Pawprints Application Process can take up to 6 months to complete. Failure to pass or complete any requirement in the application and orientation process will result in the application being denied.
- Review the volunteer guide and program requirements.
- Submit a waitlist request form.
- When invited, complete a full application (includes Canine Application, Canine Health Assessment Form, Pawprints Volunteer Application, two letters of reference, a copy of the dog's therapy dog registration, and a photo of the dog). Submit completed application in person with your dog. Each application will be reviewed by program coordinators and program veterinarian.
- Canine/Handler team must pass a behavioral evaluation.
- Canine laboratory screening (throat and fecal culture)
- Hospital Volunteer Orientation (including criminal background check, tuberculosis and immunization screening, 5-hour orientation)
- Pawprints Volunteer Orientation (including shadow visit of another team without your dog, orientation visit with your dog, and up to three observed patient visits with your dog)