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

Team Requirements

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. 

​​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. 

Offering unconditional love, caring and comfort

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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. 

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

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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.