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Seattle Pet Therapy Meetup Group Message Board › Crisis Response Dog evaluations May 31st

Crisis Response Dog evaluations May 31st

user 4141689
Group Organizer
Woodinville, WA
Hi Friends!
We are so excited that you would like to learn more about becoming a crisis response team.  Reading with Rover has partnered with HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, which is a nation-wide, all volunteer organization that follows the National Standards when it comes to Animal-Assisted Crisis Response.  We are proud to have had many of our Reading With Rovers continue on to become certified in crisis response.  Here is a link to HOPE’s website:­

Prerequisites to become a Certified Member with a canine partner:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the screening evaluation.
  • Your dog must be at least 18 months old at the time of the certification training workshop.
  • You and your dog must be a registered member of a formal animal-assisted therapy organization.
  • You and your dog must have a minimum of 12 verifiable AAA/T visits within the last twelve months.
  • You and your dog must successfully complete a HOPE AACR screening evaluation.  (May 31st scheduled in Woodinville)
  • You and your dog must successfully complete a certification training workshop.
  • Your dog should not be easily stressed and should enjoy interacting with people.
  • You should be in good health and be capable of handling the physical and mental stress of crisis response work.
  • Your dog should be in good health and have sufficient energy levels adequate for crisis response work.
  • Pay all fees related to screening and training workshop, membership fees, and purchase all necessary uniform items.

Hopefully that just got you more excited, so let’s discuss the 4 steps to the membership process.

  • To start the process you will need to fill out a membership inquiry with HOPE.  Here is a link to the form:­
  • After your inquiry is received an logged in, you will receive an email from Raquel Lackey with a link to a pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation that explains about HOPE and what crisis-response work entails in more detail.  Take this time to do some real soul searching about whether this is right path for you and your dog.
  • If you decide to move forward, you will then be sent a packet of more information about the screening, how to be prepared and forms to complete and return.
  • Once your packet information is received, you will be placed on a list for a 4-hour screening.  Screening evaluations are designed to help qualify handlers and dogs for certification training. A screening consists of an in-depth interview, interactions with HOPE evaluators, obedience skills test, crate test, and a role-play scenario designed to test for crisis response aptitude. Individuals without dogs go though a similar screening process and are evaluated on their leadership skills and aptitude for assisting canine crisis response teams. Right now we have a screening scheduled for Sunday, May 31st at Crystal Creek.
  • The final step to becoming a crisis response team with HOPE is to attend a 3-day workshop.  The 3-day certification training workshop is held in Spokane, WA and is scheduled for July 17-19th.  It will consist of comprehensive training for essential skills needed for animal-assisted crisis response. Some of the topics taught included:

    • History of HOPE AACR and animal-assisted crisis response.
    • The nature and spectrum of disasters; HOPE’s roles in responses.
    • Learn how to communicate effectively in crisis situations for the purpose of providing comfort to affected people.
    • Learn about emergency responders; types of responses; how and when we work with responders.
    • Field training in emergency response environments, personnel, & equipment.
    • Experience and learn about various modes of travel.
    • Learn about the effects of stress on people and what to do.
    • Learn how dogs learn, and how they can be effective partners.
    • Learn about canine stress, and what to do when stress happens.
    • Learn and practice canine desensitizing and counter-conditioning.
    • Practice skills by role playing in simulated crises.

As I mentioned in my last email, this is an big commitment that at times is intensive, but well worth the journey if you are interested.  Please do not hesitate to contact me (­) or Raquel Lackey (­ if you have questions.   We are excited to see some of you take this journey! We do have some financial aid if needed for Reading with Rover D.R.E.A.M. registered teams.
Happy trails and happy tails!
Raquel Lackey and Becky Bishop
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