National Capital Therapy Dogs

Q: I work at a facility that may benefit from therapy dog visits. How can I get NCTD to work with my facility?

A: Unfortunately, we are only able to add a small number of facilities each year, primarily as other facilities are dropped. However, if you would like for your facility to be considered, please complete the NCTD Facility Application form on the Online Forms page, scan it, and e-mail it to the Director of Facilities as indicated on the form. You may also mail it to the address shown on the form.

Q: What are the requirements for NCTD teams to visit my facility?

A: The number of new facilities that NCTD can approve each year is limited and based on the mission of the facility, the vision of how therapy dog visits will benefit the facility, and volunteer availability. Many factors are examined as we review a potential facility and determine whether to add it to our list. The following is a summary of some of the considerations that are taken into account:

NCTD Team Availability:

  • Are there teams interested in visiting the facility?
  • Does the requested visiting schedule align with our volunteers’ availability?
  • Is the facility located in a convenient area for our volunteers?
  • Is the environment a safe place for the handlers and dogs to visit?
  • Is there adequate parking?
  • Can teams get in/out easily?
  • Is there an area for animals to relieve themselves?

Volunteer Requirements:

  • What prerequisites need to be met a volunteer can visit at the facility?
  • Will there be any out-of-pocket expenses for the volunteer?

Type of Population:

  • Is this a type of population that will benefit from Animal Assisted Activities or Animal Assisted Therapy?

Staff Supervision:

  • Are facility staff available to escort and be readily accessible when NCTD teams are visiting?


  • Is the facility reasonably clean?
  • Are there pills/food on the ground for dogs to pick up?


  • Can visits be scheduled at a time when teams can visit?

In general, we will conduct a preliminary over-the-phone survey and may follow up with an on-site survey. Depending on the outcome of these surveys, and after determining NCTD team availability, we may:

  • Begin visiting immediately;
  • Visit for a "trial" period to see how well the visits go; or
  • Say "no" initially, but plan to follow up after some period of time. (This may happen if there are issues with the facility that could be resolved after some time or if a facility is suitable but no teams are available.)

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NCTD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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