What's so special about Delta Therapy Teams?
Each team consists of a volunteer and their beloved pet dog. Each Delta-accredited dog has undergone strict temperament testing to determine its suitability for visiting care facilities. All volunteers undergo a police check and complete a training seminar covering topics such as occupational health and safety, facility procedures and policies, human health and communication, and animal behavior and training.
How often does the Delta Therapy Team visit and how long does each visit last?
A dedicated team will make a regular weekly or fortnightly visit to your facility for between 60 - 90 minutes.
Can more than one team visit each week?
What happens during a visit?
We can work with you to fulfill any specific requirements. We have teams who visit patients and residents in their rooms for a bedside chat and pat, while other teams will visit residents in a common room. Generally volunteers and their dogs will visit and talk with residents and patients, offer a hug, and a paw to shake. Many facilities are also happy for dogs to jump up onto beds for an extra long cuddle.
Can I choose the Delta Therapy Team that visits?
We work with our volunteers to ensure we match a team with a suitable facility. Dogs are specially assessed and volunteers are trained, and volunteers are assigned to a facility in their local area. If you are assigned a volunteer team which you feel is not a good match for your facility, we are happy to offer you another team which may be more suitable.
Aren't dogs dirty and don't they carry germs?
In an word, no! We ask our volunteers to ensure their dogs are washed before making their visits, so they will carry in no more "dirt" than what might be carried in by a human's shoes. It is also a requirement that Delta dogs are vaccinated to the highest level, and are treated regularly for worms and fleas. There are also very few "germs" that dogs carry that can affect humans (a sick human visitor is a much higher risk than a healthy dog visitor).
What is the cost?
As a non-profit organisation Delta Society relies heavily on donations and support from the community to keep our service operating. We ask facilities that wish to participate in the Delta Therapy Dogs program to contribute $1000 a year for each visiting Therapy Dog Team. This contribution goes towards supporting all of our wonderful Therapy Dogs Teams nationally and covers recruitment, assessment, training, insurance, uniforms and other support. Our volunteers do not receive any remuneration for their participation.
Can I get my dog trained to become a Delta Therapy Dog?
If you feel your dog needs further training before attempting to become a Therapy Dog, please contact one of our Delta dog trainers who will be able to assist you. There's a search function on the Delta Institute website where you can find a trainer near you - www.deltainstitute.edu.au
Can Delta advise a suitable Veterinary Behaviour Consultant for my dog?
Yes, please refer to our list of recommended Veterinary Behaviour Consultants on the Delta Institute website - www.deltainstitute.edu.au
How soon can my facility get a Delta Therapy Dog?
This depends on volunteer availability and suitability in your area. Once you submit an application, your local co-ordinator will be in touch to discuss your needs and our volunteer availability.