Frequently Asked Questions
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). Dogs who visit in higher-risk facilities such as children's hospitals are pathology tested every three months to ensure they carry no parasites or bacteria (such as salmonella) which may have an impact on human health.
What is the cost?
As a non-profit organisation, the Delta Society relies heavily on sponsorships, community support and donations from participating facilities to make this service available. We ask facilities that wish to participate in the Delta Therapy Dogs program to donate $600 per year for each Therapy Dog team visiting your facility. This donation is in no way related to the services of the volunteer, who receives no remuneration for their participation. All donations are fully tax deductible and used specifically for the ongoing support and expansion of the Delta Therapy Dogs program.
Can I get my dog trained to become a Delta Therapy Dog?
If you feel your dog requires further training before attempting to become a therapy dog, please contact one of our Delta dog trainers who will be able to assist you.
Can Delta advise a suitable Veterinary Behaviour Consultant for my dog?
Yes, please refer to our list of recommended Veterinary Behaviour Consultants.
How soon can my facility get a Delta Therapy Dog?
Unfortunately, we cannot estimate the timeframe as it depends on volunteer availability and suitability in your area.