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"Helping People, One Dog at a time."


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

"Helping People, One Dog at a time."

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a therapy dog, a service dog and an emotional support dog?

All three categories of dogs perform special work in our communities but there are some significant differences between the three types of dogs.

Therapy Dog

  • are trained to a level of obedience which covers basic commands. 

  • are encouraged to be accessible to more than one person during a therapy session. 

  • may be approached when out walking because the handler and dog are “off duty.”

  • are normally family pets trained by their owners or by professional dog trainers. 

  • maybe any breed of dog. 

  • cost the same amount to raise as any other dog. 

  • have no specific fitness or health regimes to abide by. 

  • can continue working for as long as is appropriate (may vary by therapy dog group).

​Common characteristics of all three categories of dogs:

  1. have a friendly disposition and can relate to people and other dogs in a non-aggressive way.

  2. play a significant role in adding value to people’s lives.

What do you look for in a therapy dog?


A great temperament, meaning a dog that clearly enjoys being around people, even if they have never met that person before and is well socialized with other dogs.



Good obedience, to include a thorough understanding of the basic commands (sit, down, stay, leave it) with a strong focus on their owner.


Physically fit: able to pass a thorough medical examination given by a qualified veterinarian.

What breeds are welcome?

Our therapy dogs are diverse, just like our volunteers. Any dog large or small, from all backgrounds whether that be from champion show dogs to adopted rescue dogs, are welcomed. We do not discriminate based on breed, size, color, or gender.

Where does the funding come from to run these programs?

Individual Donations

Corporate Donations

Corporate  Sponsorships

School and Seniors' Homes Donations

Bottle Drives


Third Party Fundraisers

How much of a volunteer commitment do I need to make?

You choose how much you want to get involved.

My dog is fearful / reactive / does not like other dogs, can they still become a therapy dog?

No, your dog needs to be calm and get along with other dogs.

Are there any costs involved with being a volunteer with Community Therapy Dogs Society?

No, apart from giving your time to volunteer. We do not believe that people should pay to be a volunteer. 

How old does my dog need to be to become a therapy dog with Community Therapy Dogs?

It is not so much age as maturity that will dictate whether your dog is ready to become a therapy dog. This varies by dog and can vary by breed and the time you have invested in training your dog to date. 

Will my dog be accepted onto your program if he/she is fed only or partially raw meat?

No, we consider the risks of dogs eating only partially raw diets to be higher in the transmission of certain bacteria/diseases which is consistent with AHS guidelines and discussions with veterinarians.

What is involved in becoming a therapy dog with Community Therapy Dogs?

The process begins by having your dog assessed. The assessment is in two parts: part one involves us assessing your dog’s temperament, obedience, and general physical health. We will also check to see if your dog shows a negative reaction to either loud noises or being touched in more sensitive areas such as the paws, ears, tail, mouth. Once your dog has successfully navigated through part one of the assessment, part two involves your dog having a thorough medical at one of two veterinary clinics who provide a pro bono service for us, and you are achieving a clean Vulnerable Sector Police Check. 

Are there opportunities to volunteer with CTDS if I do not have a dog?

Yes, we have opportunities in the areas of fundraising, administration, IT and being an ambassador for CTDS (PR). You can also become a member of one or more of our committees which deal with everything from operations, support for the volunteers, finance, legal and marketing and events. 

Can I become a Board member with CTDS? 

Yes, if you have been volunteering with CTDS and have a thorough understanding of what we do and how we operate and love dogs, then you can let the current Board know of your interest in becoming a Board member and an interview process will take place to determine fit.

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