Handler must provide verification that handler and dog have, as a team, successfully completed two group classes of formal obedience training (beyond puppy class).  

  • Verification:
    • Copies of graduation certificates, or
    • Letter, written on letterhead, from Senior Instructor of a training program indicating the group classes the handler and dog have successfully passed.

If accepted for interview:

  • Submission of a health certificate from your veterinarian. 

If accepted for the Heart to  Heart Intern Training Program:

  • Therapy team must successfully pass the Team Assessment evaluation.
  • Handler will be required to have TB test (PPD or X-ray every two years or sooner if required by assigned facility)
  • Intern team must successfully complete the eleven week training program.
  • Team must pass the evaluation to be registered with Pet Partners, Inc. 

Team Requirements

​​Heart to Heart Pet Partners, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 
Donations may be mailed to: Heart to Heart Pet Partners, 1015 A Cleaner Way, Huntsville, AL 35805.
Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. 

What are the benefits of being part of Heart to Heart?

  • Being part of a group whose members all cherish their relationship with their pet and want to share this love and comfort to improve the lives of others
  • Intensive, focused training so that your partner and you will have safe, effective visits
  • Having an experienced, caring mentor who will be available to you for at least a year after joining Heart to Heart
  • Ongoing education about visiting with specific populations (elderly, children, etc.)
  • Knowing that the facility you visit has been carefully screened, ensuring that your partner and you will visit in a safe environment with patients and residents who will benefit from your visits
  • Attending bi-monthly meetings where you can share your concerns as well as your joys


​​​​​​​​​​Heart to Heart Pet Partners, Inc.

The presence of a non-threatening, gentle therapy dog can help a hospitalized six-year old feel less frightened.

For an isolated elder, sitting quietly with a therapy cat makes a long-term care facility feel more like home and less lonely. For an uncertain second grader, confidence in reading out loud increases when the listener is a calm, comforting therapy rabbit.

If you have a companion dog, cat, rabbit, or bird that you would like to share this journey with, Heart to Heart invites you to join us. The requirements are stringent. The rewards life-changing. 

Offering unconditional love, caring and comfort

Therapy animals will be handled only by the Volunteer handler with whom the animal completed both the registration evaluation and the Heart to Heart training program.

Therapy animals

  • Dogs and cats must be at least 2 years of age. Rabbits must be at least 6 months of age.
  • Cats and rabbits must be neutered/spayed.
  • Dogs must be neutered/spayed or have earned the AKC title of Conformation Champion, and may not work when in estrus. 
  • Pets must have been in the handler's household for a minimum of one year.
  • As long as the therapy animal is visiting, s/he must remain in the same household as their certified handler.