The Consortium for Animal Assisted Therapy at the University of North Texas was established in 2002 to support the field of animal assisted therapy. The Consortium promotes human and animal welfare through the partnership of people and pets.
To provide scholarship funds for graduate students training to be counselors who desire to work as a team with their pets (dogs, horses, cats, etc) to provide animal-assisted counseling services to clients in the community. Clients who are served by animal-assisted counseling may be struggling with any difficult life situation, such as, grief from loss, addictions, domestic violence, depression, family struggles, veterans with trauma, child abuse, or other concerns.
This scholarship was established by Dr. Cynthia Chandler to honor her dog Rusty who served as a therapy dog. Dr. Chandler and Rusty were the first team from the University of North Texas to assist with providing counseling and educational services. Working as a team over the years, Dr. Chandler and Rusty volunteered thousands of hours of counseling services for many clients in the community. They also trained hundreds of university students to become counselors to work with their own pets to provide animal-assisted counseling to clients in the community. The work of Dr. Chandler and Rusty lead to the establishment of the Consortium for Animal Assisted therapy at the University of North Texas which furthers the development of the AAT field by providing counselor training, and counseling research. Dr. Chandler is an award-winning, international leader in the field of animal-assisted therapy. She is author of the classic book, Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling, now in its 3rd edition (published 2017). Her wonderful dog Rusty passed away in his elder years, but Dr. Chandler still works with her pets providing services to clients in the community and training students to become a counselor with their pets.
Want to be able to volunteer or work with your pet? This workshop and/or team evaluation is designed for volunteers, professionals and students.
The Pet Partners Handler Training workshop offered on a Saturday and Handler-Animal Team Evaluation offered on a Saturday are facilitated by Dr. Cynthia Chandler twice per year, usually around April and September. The handler training workshop, which is eight hours, trains persons to serve with their pets to provide animal-assisted educational and social activities on a volunteer level. The team evaluation is a 40-minute appointment on a different date than the handler training workshop. See how to register below.
The facilitator, Dr. Cynthia Chandler, is a leading expert in the world on animal-assisted activity and therapy. She has practiced since the year 2000, won several professional awards and has published a leading book titled "Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling," now in its 3rd edition.
This also is a great introductory workshop for professionals who wish to work with their pet in an educational or counseling setting. Continuing education units provided for mental health professionals, who will receive eight contact hours of continuing education for LPC, NBCC, MFT, TAADAC(R), including one hour of ethics.
Price of Pet Partners Handler Training offered by Dr. Chandler: $90.00.
Price of Pet Partners Team Evaluation offered by Dr. Chandler: $35.00
You must have completed Pet Partners Handler Training before the Team Evaluation.
The campus of the University of North Texas, Denton, TX.
To register for one of Dr. Chandler’s Pet Partners Handler Training workshop and/or Team Evaluation visit the Pet Partners' website, select Volunteer, then from the drop-down menu select Calendar of Events to find exact date (look for trainings in Denton, TX). To register for an event, select Volunteer, then from the drop-down menu select Become a Handler (or Renew Registration if you are currently a Pet Partner). If first time registering you will need to create a free of cost account at the Volunteer page.
After completing the Pet Partners Handler Training, participants may become a Pet Partners Team with their pet if they complete a Team Evaluation on a separate date. Sign up for a Team Evaluation at the Pet Partners website.
Pets evaluated include dogs, horses, cats, birds, rabbits, llamas/alpacas and pot-bellied pigs.
After registering for a Handler Training and/or Team Evaluation on the Pet Partner’s website, participants will be contacted by Dr. Chandler to finalize their registration and receive directions.
To pass the team evaluation, a dog must sit, stay, come, down, walk politely on a leash and be calm and friendly during all required tasks. Other types of pets must be friendly and well mannered. Information on team evaluation exercises available on Pet Partner website after creating an account at the Pet Partner website.
Dr. Chandler takes no personal revenue from Pet Partners Workshops or Team Evaluations. All revenue from these trainings and evaluations goes into the Consortium for Animal Assisted Therapy of the University of North Texas to support trainings and research in animal-assisted therapy.
For the team evaluation, bring the pet that you want to work with along with a photo copy of the rabies vaccination certificate (if dog or cat), and bring a soft grooming brush the pet is familiar with and one treat the pet is familiar with. Please bring no pets to workshops.