Frequently Asked Questions

“How can my dog become a therapy dog with CTDS?”

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. Once your dog has successfully navigated through part one of the assessment, part two involves your dog having a thorough medical at one of three veterinary clinics who provide a pro bono service for us and your achieving a clean Vulnerable Sector Police Check.

“What does it cost to be a volunteer with CTDS?”

The short answer is nothing. We don’t expect volunteers to pay in addition to giving their time.

“What is the time commitment I will have to agree to?”

We don’t specify a minimum number of hours per week or per month.

“How old should my dog be before becoming a therapy dog with CTDS?”

A general guideline is 18-24 months old to get through the puppy years but the maturity of the dog is what matters.

 “Is there a maximum age after which my dog has to retire from the CTDS program?”


“Are there opportunities to volunteer with CTDS if I don’t 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.

“Do you only accept certain breeds of dog into your program?”

No: we give the opportunity to any breed of dog.

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

No. Consistent with AHS guidelines and after discussion with veterinarians, we consider the risks of dogs eating only raw to be higher in the transmission of certain bacteria/ disease to the  vulnerable sector.

“How does CTDS give help to the community?” 

There are three programs:
1) “Listening Tails”, designed to help young kids improve their confidence in reading out loud,
2) “Visiting Tails”, designed to allow seniors and patients in hospitals access to our dogs to give them therapeutic support. 
3) “Caring Tails”, designed to allow any age group access to our dogs to help relieve stress and anxiety.