Human Animal Link of Oklahoma Foundation
Animal Assisted Therapy & Activities
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Form 1: Guidelines and Regulations
1) The pet must be at least one year of age to be qualified as a H.A.L.O. therapy dog, and must have established residency with the Handler during that time. At minimum, Handler and pet must complete one obedience class before being considered, and should be awarded with the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen. Qualified teams will be certified annually to insure integrity and consistency. Teams may be waived from re-certification with a letter of recommendation from the partner facility, stating that the quality of service remains excellent and in line with the guidelines of said facility.
2) A current record of required vaccinations must be on file each year of membership. Veterinarian records are tracked by Director Marcia Bowermon. Handlers must present a copy of current veterinarian records to each facility visited. A pet is never allowed to visit while in season.
3) Dues are $50.00 for each Handler and dog qualified, and $25.00 should there be a second dog. Because dedication to visits and on-going training is necessary for therapy dogs, no more than two pets per family should be qualified. Junior Handler dues are $25.00. All qualified teams are insured for professional liability. One pet per Handler is allowed on each visit, and the qualified Handler only may lead the pet through the visit.
4) Junior Handlers must be accompanied by a parent/guardian Senior Handler on each visit from age 14 through 20. They, as well as the Senior Handler, will be identified by the H.A.L.O. magnetic ID badge. The Senior Handler must always be directly at the side of the Junior Handler and have necessary control over the animal. Junior Handlers, at the age of 21 will be evaluated separately from the Senior Handler for full rights.
5) Handlers must have on their person the required photo ID, wear the magnetic ID identifying the team, and pets must be easily recognized by the yellow H.A.L.O. vest. The H.A.L.O. logo, an approved therapy patch, and the dog’s name patch must be sewn to the vest. The vest may be removed briefly for a full body touch, but working dogs must enter and leave each facility in H.A.L.O. wear. Handlers may not write on vests with markers, and additional patches must be approved for placement. Should a vest be lost or damaged, replacement cost is $30.00.
6) Teams are required a minimum of one visit monthly in Oklahoma. Each visit must be documented and sent to Director Marcia Bowermon at email@example.com. Failure to maintain this privilege warrants dismissal. Special circumstances can occur; each case will be evaluated by the Board of Directors and acted upon accordingly.
7) All working dogs, regardless of the level of obedience and experience, must be on lead at all times by the qualified Handler unless involved in an approved activity. Regulation leashes and collars must be used at all times. Prong and slip are not allowed, as tiny or frail fingers can become entangled. Handlers must use good judgement in choosing pet fashion wear, remembering the dog represents the animal assisted therapy industry. Holiday or special event “costumes” must be chosen with the best of taste. There may be times when a Handler must interrupt the visit for emergency self care, and if so, the dog must never be handed over to any other but a designated staff member. While working in a facility with other animal assisted therapy organizations, if the care of that therapy dog is given to those receiving the visit, it is our responsibility to bring this to the awareness of the facility to insure safety of all.
8) Partner facilities may require a weekly/ monthly schedule; some allow and are grateful for flexible or "drop in" visits. Teams must adhere to the arrangement. Notify immediately should absence be an issue. Orientations and procedures are specific to each partner facility. Teams should make every effort to notify a designated staff person upon arrival and when leaving the campus.
9) If a pet shows signs of aggression or anxiety toward another person or pet, visits must cease immediately. Each incident is reviewed by the Board and a vote taken before the membership is revoked.
10) Handlers must be prepared to clean up after their pets. This duty should never be asked of a staff member.
11) Pets on duty are not allowed to jump on laps or furniture. Should there be an understanding and agreement with the facility, then a clean covering must be placed first. A family member may not make this decision.
12) Qualified teams must not make visits if Handler or pet is ill, or if personal issues keep the team from being at its best. Team Handlers must be empathetic and compassionate toward each visitor, but must remember to not discuss personal health matters of their own.
13) Photographs of visits are often requested. These should not be taken by Handlers. A release of confidentiality statement may be on file at the facility; members of H.A.L.O. must be familiar with each facility’s privacy regulations.
14) Team Handlers must be mindful of the fact that they are their pet partner’s sole advocate, and must be attentive to them at all times while visiting. This includes private visits as well as community events.
Should a team feel uncomfortable with the standards demonstrated by our group or another, that team should excuse itself from all potentially hazardous situations and notify the board immediately.
Form 1 on this page is for all to view. It is the standard for membership. Applicants must follow steps 1,2, and 3.
1. Copy, print, and sign Form 1 (Guidelines and Regulations.) Scan and send to Terri Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Use button below to access Form 2. Print Form 2 (H.A.L.O. Membership Application Form.) Complete, scan, and send to Terri Smith at email@example.com.
3. Use button below to access Form 3, Background Authorization. A $17.00 check made out to H.A.L.O. must be sent to H.A.L.O., 6625 NW 115th Street, OKC, OK 73162. This is the fee Winston Services charges.
Print, complete, and send or fax to Winston Services, 3550 W. Main St, Suite 201, Norman, OK 73072, Fax 405.364.9897