Training and Registration
CATS volunteer handlers wishing to apply with their pet must have experience working with a recognized animal therapy organization. All dogs should have the equivalent of one (1) year experience with an approved therapy day program prior to volunteering at DEN. Dogs with less than one (1) year experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis prior to receiving approval to join the CATS therapy dog program.
Participating pets must be privately owned and be at least two years old. All canine CATS volunteers must be registered with Alliance of Therapy Dogs, an international organization that registers, insures and supports members who are involved in similar volunteer activities such as visits to hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, and libraries.
Prospective CATS handlers will participate in DEN customer service training and field evaluations to ensure that this environment will be a good fit for both volunteer and dog. Additionally, handlers will go through Airport Security background checks, fingerprinting and security testing prior to receiving an Airport ID badge.
Role of CATS Volunteer Handlers
- Surprise, delight and comfort passengers through positive interactions with therapy animals.
- Promote DEN and the CATS program.
- Inform and assist passengers with airport-related questions and wayfinding.
- Hand out trading cards featuring your CATS pet.
All CATS volunteer teams work a minimum of 10 hours per quarter. While the dates of visits are flexible, CATS and their handlers average three visits per month.