Who can be a WAGS Member?
Any one who attends their first meeting and attends orientation then pays the membership fee to join. There are special requirements for children. Family memberships are also available.
What activities might my pet and I do once we begin visiting?
Your team has opportunities to visit all types of facilities depending upon your schedule and degree of comfort with the environment. Schools, hospitals, nursing homes and libraries are just a few of the places our pets provide support.
During your visit, residents of the facility may pet, brush or simply look at your animal. Small animals may be carefully placed on an individual’s lap or even on their bed. This is only with their permission, of course. If your animal enjoys performing tricks then, they will have a grateful audience where the smiles are a mark of appreciation! Even though entertaining tricks can be fun for everyone, certainly they are not required to be considered an excellent Ambassador team. Sometimes, just sitting quietly next to an individual or listening to a child read is all that is expected!
Can I bring my pet to Membership Meetings?
If you are a guest joining us for your first meeting or are not yet a member, please leave your pets at home.
WAGS members are invited to bring their human and animal-friendly pets to meetings. Pets should be potty trained, on-leash or in a carrier, and current on vaccines.
If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please leave your pet at home for their comfort and the health and safety of the rest of our members. Thank you!
Can I join if I don't have a pet?
Of course! We would love to have you. While many of our members are active Ambassador Teams sharing their animals with people in our community, we have plenty of members that take on other equally important roles within the organization.
Members are involved in coordinating special events, maintaining our website, serving on the board, fundraising, giving and assisting with evaluations, welcoming new members, continuing education... the list goes on! If you have an idea or something to offer, we'd love to hear about it.
What if my pet and I don't pass our evaluation?
Evaluations are challenging and not every team will pass on their first try. Don't despair. Be sure to talk to your evaluator and skilled assistant and listen carefully to their feedback. They will be able to give you guidance on the steps that your team can take next to be successful at your next evaluation. We have certified professional dog trainers in our membership as well as other wonderful resources that we would be happy to point you towards.
Remember that we all want you to be successful! We have more facilities and visit requests than we are able to fill and would love to have your help bringing pet therapy to the people in our community. If you didn't pass your evaluation, keep your head up. We are here to help you reach your goals.
If you and your pet were/are already a certified therapy team with another organization:
- Do we still need to complete the same new members orientation and evaluation process? Is there a express process for experienced teams?
All teams that are new to WAGS will go through the same joining and evaluation process. We are excited to have new experienced teams and hope you are excited to meet us and learn about our organization.
- Can I be a WAGS Team Ambassador and a visiting therapy team with another organization at the time?
Generally, yes. Please ask for more information at WAGS 101.
I am an Ambassador Team - How do I renew my team registration?
Contact our WAGS Evaluation Scheduler and be prepared to know your options.You must renew every two years. There are two ways to do this:
- Express Renewal
- By repeating the Wags Ambassador Evaluation Process again.
To qualify for the Express Renewal you must be actively visiting as a TEAM.
Continuing Education is required every 6 months (or 2 times per year). AT least one of the CE credits must be a hands on training with the other credit being education only for the handler. Total of 4 CE credits to renew.
- Current dues
- 10 TEAM visits per year
- CE as stated above
- Submit paperwork and fee 60 days prior to your expiration month (but you can apply for this renewal during the quarter before your expiration quarter)
For more specific details please refer to Chapter 6 p. 84 of the Working with WAGS manual.
How do I volunteer to assist in the Ambassador pet evaluations?
We are always in need of WAGS members to assist during Ambassador Team evaluations. Pet evaluations are normally held four times a year.
At new member orientation, we provide information about assisting with evaluations and who to contact. If you are considering becoming a visiting Ambassador team with your pet, volunteering for an evaluation day is the best way to familiarize yourself with expectations and requirements for a visiting team and to prepare yourself and your pet for your own evaluation. Login to your personal account and fill out the Volunteer for WAGS. Someone will get back with you.
Where can I purchase the WAGS team training manual?
The WAGS team training manual is a comprehensive resource for educating individuals interested in pet therapy. WAGS recognizes that most of the skills, techniques, and etiquette presented in this manual are standard practices for visiting pet therapy teams. Prior to attending a WAGS 101 class, all attendees must have read this manual. You can purchase the manual at one of our monthly meetings. Stop by the registration desk and inquire. The price is $20 and you must have a manual in order to take the 101 class required to be certified as a trained Aide or an Ambassador Team.