Threrapy Rabbits (in Canada)

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SOOOSKA

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Hi I was asked by someone I know who has Rabbits and would like them to become Therapy Rabbits.

This person is a Social Worker who wants to bring her Rabbits to the Agencey she works at for Therapeutic purposes.

Does anyone know the process she needs to go through to make the animal into a Service Animal?

I put (in Canada) in the subject as It may be different in the States.

Thanks for your help, geez to bad Daisy Mae would Grunt at everyone, she'd be so cute to take to visit at the "Old Folks Home".


 

Korr_and_Sophie

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I am not sure if there are specific requirements for therapy animals in Canada. I know that there are groups that visit seniors homes, hospitals and other places and they generally will certify the animals on their own. Training can vary from group to group, some may require specific training while others go for the temperament and basic training.
I think one big thing is insurance, the person bringing the animal needs some protection if something were to happen.

If she works for the agency and they are her personal rabbits, she might want to talk with whoever runs the agency about it. It can give her a base line on what she needs to do. If she does need some sort of certification, then she could try contacting a local pet therapy group and see if they can help.

Keeping in mind that the rabbits would be therapy rabbits and not service animals. Service animals receive lots of training to help someone manage a disability while therapy animals provide comfort and a friendly face. Service animals can go anywhere with their handler, specifically areas that pets are not usually allowed. Therapy animals do get to go to some areas that pets are not allowed, but they have no legal protection to go, if a hospital or seniors home said they can't come, then that means the animals can't go in.


With the hopping club, we do go to some seniors homes and the Children's Hospital. A few of the seniors homes have has us come just to visit with the residents and after a hopping demo we do take the rabbits around to visit. At the Children's Hospital, we do a demo but are not allowed to let the kids touch the rabbits (mostly for health reasons). It is really up to the organization we visit and we do have to respect that.
The seniors homes are booked by each centre, but most of part of the same group.

Another thing to consider is where the agency is located. I used to do some therapy and would bring my dog. The place moved to a new location and pets were not allowed anymore due to the ventilation system. So in this situation, a service dog would be allowed, but a therapy dog would not.
 

Watermelons

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I know locally the process to become a certified pet therapy animal requires the animal to be at least 1 year of age. The person and animal would then need to find an orgonization that screens the handlers and animal, here if you wanted to get a bunny screened you would contact "BC Pets and Friends" (I might contact them to see if they know other orgonizations in canada) once your pet passes the screening process (its a test to see how they react in different situations) you pay your yearly fee (which covers the insurance the orgonization provides on your behalf) then you would contact the place that you wish to take your rabbit in visiting, like a care facility or hospital that allows that type of animal. You would then become a volunteer at that facility, go through their volunteer orientation, and dun dun dun get to visit with bunny.

You need to find an orgonization that is certified to screen these animals. If you go through somebody that just hands out insurance, there might be issues if something ever does happen. Another reason why its also a bad idea to just bring animals in with out having an orgonization like BC Pets and Friends back you up. We take our Dogs into the local hospital (they only allow dogs and cats) and we are through ST John ambulance, but they refuse to screen rabbits or cats or other animals since theres too much liability with those types of animals in these situations compared to dogs.
 

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