National Capital Therapy Dogs
Yes. We do have fiscal obligations, so contributions are appreciated to help offset our operating expenses.
Since we are a nonprofit organization donations to NCTD are usually tax-deductible; please consult your financial adviser for details.
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.
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:
Type of Population:
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:
To visit with NCTD, you and your animal must first train and be evaluated as a NCTD Volunteer Team. See how to Become a Pet Therapy Team.
NCTD provides numerous benefits, including:
Under NCTD rules, anyone 12 and over are eligible to take our classes and evaluation exams with an adult, (parent, guardian or someone with parent or guardian's written consent). Once they are 16, the Facility Coordinator where they volunteer can allow them to visit facilities independently or they can continue with an adult until they are 18. Some of our facilities, such as hospitals, have a minimum age for volunteering that we also must abide by.
Yes! The same procedures apply to become a NCTD Volunteer team. The only additional requirement is a note from the owner giving permission for you to work with the animal.
Yes! Other animals are welcomed in our organization. We have several places that they may be able to visit... nursing homes and assisted living facilities generally welcome them. Each hospital facility that we visit may have restrictions (e.g., for cats, front claws removed or indoor cat only). Please Contact Us for more information.
You can find the complete list of NCTD training classes, evaluations, and other events on the NCTD Calendar of Events
The minimum requirements for maintaining an active status in NCTD are:
Of course, if you have more time, we encourage you to:
No. NCTD is 100% volunteer-based, we do not have any paid positions.
There are costs associated with being a volunteering member of NCTD. Most, if not all, of which can be tax deductible. Please talk to your financial advisor for more details. These costs help to cover the organization's operating expenses as well as the liability insurance that all of our animals carry when volunteering at an NCTD approved facility. Please see our Costs and Fees page for more details.
Additional costs that may be incurred are veterinary check ups & shots, additional team evaluations (if the team does not pass the first time), NCTD gear, and NCTD "uniform".
Financial Assistance may be available through NCTD's "Gandalf Fund". Individuals requesting assistance are to write a letter to the NCTD Board of Directors for review when submitting training/evaluation forms.
For handler: While there is no official NCTD "uniform", we request that you be dressed neatly but comfortably when you visit with your animal. Slacks or nice jeans with a nice shirt and comfortable shoes are recommended. NCTD also offers "NCTD gear" at cost as well as clothing with the NCTD logo through Lands End. Wearing NCTD shirts provides a quick means of identification, plus it gives the group a more professional appearance.
For pet: All dogs should wear a green harness or green NCTD vest.
Please note that in some cases, an individual facility may have their own specific dress requirements. Many require that we wear a shirt with the NCTD logo. Others may have general restrictions such as no jeans or shorts. So be sure to ask about it when applying to a facility.