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Therapy Animals of San Antonio

Bringing People and Animals Together for Healing


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a therapy animal?
A therapy animal is a pet who is controllable, reliable and predictable. The animal has good manners in public and is comfortable in unfamiliar environments and with new people. Common therapy animals are dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, pot bellied pigs, and horses. A therapy animal is NOT a service animal. an emotional support animal, nor a working animal.

What is a therapy team?
A therapy team is a human volunteer and his/her pet. The human side of the team has participated in a training class and the team has passed an evaluation meeting certain minimum requirements to be a registered team with Therapy Animals of San Antonio or Pet Partners®.

What are animal-assisted activities?
Animal-assisted activities (AAA) provide opportunities for motivational, educational, and/or recreational benefits to enhance a person's quality of life. As an example, an individual takes his or her dog to a long-term care facility to visit the residents. Although the staff might be involved in the visits, no treatment goals have been set for the visit, and aside from signing in and out, no records are kept.

What is animal-assisted therapy?
Animal-assisted therapy is goal-directed intervention. An animal is incorporated as an integral part of the clinical treatment process. Staff is always involved and records are kept to track the patient's progress. As an example, a person who has had a stroke brushes a dog, clips a leash on and off, and buckles a dog's collar to improve fine motor skills.

What is a service animal?
A service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service dogs may go with the person who has disabilities into places where the public normally goes.

What is an emotional support animal?
An emotional support animal is an animal (usually a dog or cat but can be other species) that gives a therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship.

What is a working dog?
A working dog is a dog that has been trained to perform certain tasks such as herding, protection, drug detection, or search and rescue.