An FSD Professional Therapy Dog is matched with one working professional who has written permission from their workplace to incorporate the dog into their work. When the handler is not on duty, the dog enjoys time off-the-clock as a pet in the professional’s home.

We pair professional therapy dogs with mental health and/or crisis support providers, such as therapists, social workers, law enforcement, and more. Our dogs partner with these professionals to provide therapeutic support in places like police departments, fire stations, hospitals, schools, assisted living facilities, and more.

According to Animal-Assisted Intervention International (AAII), Therapy dogs need to:

  • Be comfortable with and not overreact to distractions, unusual situations (e.g. sudden noises/movement, etc.) in the environment, or equipment that is commonly present
  • Display genuine signs of interest for socializing with people and receiving attention from a variety of people, demonstrating appropriate responses
  • Remain relaxed with different people petting, checking over, and handling/grooming the dog IF that is what is expected in the dog’s normal line of work

Things Therapy dogs can help with and do:

  • Processing traumatic events
  • Lessening impact of job-related stress
  • Positive interactions with those served and community as a whole
  • Help build rapport and engagement between individuals/community, and professionals
  • Provide affection and comfort in anxiety provoking situations
  • Help to make difficult topics easier to explore by applying parallels with the dog
  • Work alongside their handler as a team to improve lives
  • Be adorable, cuddly, and make people laugh!


PLEASE NOTE: The FSD Professional Therapy Dog application is closed until further notice to allow us to serve those already on the waiting list. Please check back.  

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