How to Volunteer

Please note that Caring Canines Visiting Therapy Dogs, Inc. is located in Massachusetts and serves the greater Boston area. We have no chapters or affiliations in any part of the country or in the parts of the world.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Caring Canines volunteer.  Below are the basic qualifications needed for both dogs and handlers.

Your dog must:
  • be at least a year old
  • be healthy, parasite-free and up-to-date on all shots;
  • have basic obedience skills (sit*, down/stay, come);
  • be friendly, gentle and has good visiting manners;
  • be able to retain his/her steadiness and good manners around wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and the noises and smells of a hospital or nursing facility environment;
  • be willing and able to tolerate clumsy, exuberant petting;
  • be able to work well around other dogs;
  • be spayed or neutered
*Greyhounds are not required to sit.  Obedience skills are not required for small dogs that will be held for visiting.
Volunteers:
  • must be 18 years or older;
  • must have private transportation;
  • are requested to commit to a minimum of ten visits per year
We recommend reading the article "Dog Assisted Therapy: Is Your Dog a Good Fit?" to help determine whether your dog is likely to enjoy being a therapy dog.

The Application Process:

Submit an online application using this link.

You will receive an immediate acknowledgement of your application via email.  Please be on the lookout for it.  As an all-volunteer program with over 100 volunteers, we rely on email as our primary method of communication.  If it doesn't appear that you've heard from us, remember to check your spam folder.  For safety, please add the caringcanines.org domain to your list of "not junk" in your address book.

Additional information about the application process and volunteering with our program may be found in our Frequently Asked Questions section.