Volunteer Requirements

Liz reading a book with MUSC pet therapy dog, Martel.
Volunteer, and her therapy dog, read to the children

Requirements for Applicants

Are you interested in applying for our Therapy Animal program? Learn more by watching our video.


Therapy Animal Evaluation

Because you know your dog better than any trainer or evaluator, you might want to take this self-test to see if together you both are ready to move forward.

  1. Is your dog well socialized?
  2. Is your dog relatively calm when he/she meets people?
  3. Does your dog maintain his/her composure when approached with shopping carts, roller blades or skateboards?
  4. Can you control your dog when he/she is faced with the unexpected?
  5. Does your dog remain calm at the vet or groomer?
  6. Have you and your dog had any formal training?
  7. Is your dog in good health?
  8. Does your dog accept treats gently?
  9. Does your dog react in a friendly manner (wagging tail) when he/she sees another dog?
  10. Does your dog like children? 

If you were able to answer “yes” to all these questions then perhaps you and your dog are ready to get started. See below for the next steps.


Contact Therapy Animal Certification Organizations

MUSC currently accepts certified therapy dogs from the following national therapy dog organizations:

A dog must be registered by one of these organizations to be eligible to participate in the MUSC Therapy Animal Program. For additional information about testing and registration, please contact those organizations listed.


Contact Therapy Animal Program Coordinator 

Once your dog is certified and you are ready to begin, please contact Cathy Bennett, Therapy Animal Program Coordinator, at 843-792-7360 or bennetca@musc.edu