Here we are in July and things in Kentucky are beginning to open. Your evaluator committee has been hard at work to plan for our teams to safely begin visiting when the time is ready. Pet Therapy visits will look a bit different with us following the CDC guidelines (they are posted on our website). A few things we had to consider moving forward.
- We have 47 teams expiring by the end of 2020.
- We are not able to do express renewals or standard evaluations for that number of teams because of the pandemic.
- We will be granting a 1-year extension to the teams expiring the end of June, September, and December 2020.
- To begin visiting safely when visits are allowed (once your registration has expired), we will require each team to go through an Express Renewal Light consisting of scenarios we will set up (hopefully at the church) to observe you interacting with volunteers.
- We evaluate teams every two years to make sure you are working well as a team and that we do not see any behavioral problems with your pet or any missteps between you and your pet. We also want to make sure you have your bag packed properly.
- Normally we would have been able to do an Express Renewal or Standard Evaluation before your two year expiration was up. That is why we are requiring the Express Renewal Light and allowing a one year extension.
- This way we have seen you in action
- This will take 10/15 minutes at the most and you will receive your letter of extension to carry until you renew in 1 year.
- There is no cost or vet exam required. You will not need to send in any paperwork. We will let you know the dates for the Express Renewal Light.
- Examples: The teams that expired June 30, 2020 will need to go through what we will call Express Renewal Light scenarios before they can visit. Your new expiration date will become June 30, 2021. Once you complete that renewal you will have a two year expiration date expiring June 30, 2023.
- IF visits open before the teams that expire in September and December, they can visit up to the time their registration expires on September 30, 2020 or December 31, 2020. However, before they can do any additional visits beyond those dates, they will need to do the Express Renewal Light.
- We understand that some of you may not feel comfortable doing any type of visits until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
Pet therapy will look different based on the CDC guidelines. Summed up below.
- When possible keep animals at least 6 feet away from people and animals not participating in the visit.
- Avoid crowded petting
- Be sure that you and the person you are visiting are both wearing a mask
- Before and after every contact, the handler and anyone petting or having contact with the animal should wash their hands
- Do not let other people handle items that go into the animal’s mouth, such as treats or toys.
- Do not use items that multiple people handle, particularly if items are brought to multiple facilities between therapy visits (for example, leashes, harnesses, toys, brushes or blankets). If items like leashes must be brought between facilities, disinfect them after each use or facility.
- Do not allow therapy animals to lick or give “kisses”.