Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mock Drill?

A Mock Drill - Also called a Pet Therapy Try-It Session is where you learn about the evaluation process and practice required skills with your dog.

What is a Pet Therapy Try-It Session?

A Pet Therapy Try-It Session is where you learn about the registration process and practice required skills with your dog. It is also called a Mock Drill.

What is ITA?

ITA stands for Intermountain Therapy Animal, a therapy team group.

What type of licenses do you accept? I am already licensed with another therapy team entity, can I join?

We accept Intermountain Therapy Animal licenses for those who are transferring from another affiliate.

My child wants to do therapy team work. At what age can someone become a PWAM Member?

We accept children who have gone through the program and who are a freshmen in high school and at least 13 years old. One parent must also be a registered therapy team. The parent/child/animal visit together. The child cannot visit without the parent. This is because they are not considered an adult and cannot make decisions legally. We have several student/parent teams.

What is a Workshop?

A classroom style all day workshop where you will learn the skills needed to safely visit with your animal at various facilities such as hospitals, libraries, schools and senior centers. You will learn about patient confidentiality, health and safety codes, interacting with different types of people, “what if” scenarios and meet others who are or have been therapy team handlers.

What is a Evaluation?

Specific skills and aptitudes you and your pet are tested on before being issued a pet therapy license.

What type of commitment does PWAM require?

We ask that you participate at least 10 hours per year. This includes your travel time. We also ask you (without your dog) to participate in at least one Mock Drill and one Evaluation every year. Since a PWAM member gave up their time to for you to attend a Mock Drill and Evaluation, we think it is fair to ask that once you are a therapy team that you donate your time to help potential members become therapy teams. Time participating in a Mock Drill and Evaluation count towards the 10 hours per year requirement. We do understand that sometimes life throws things at us, so we aren't sticklers on this.

I want to use my registered therapy animal at work?

A pet therapy license only covers a team when they are volunteering; not when they are getting paid. While you can become a registered therapy team, our insurance will not cover you during working hours. In other words, if you bring your registered dog and are being paid, you are NOT insured. Our insurance is for teams working in a volunteer capacity; not an employment capacity. Insurance covering this type of work is considered Business Professional and Liability Insurance which we can provide; however, there are additional fees and requirements.

What is the Difference Between a Service, Therapy and Emotional Support (aka Caring) Animal?

Service Dogs. Service dogs are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. For more information about Service Dogs visit

Therapy Dogs. Therapy dogs visit patients and residents in hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and students in schools, and libraries to provide solace, affection, and stress relief. Their interactions tend to be of short duration. Therapy dogs have very stable temperaments to tolerate other animals and occasionally intense situations without becoming upset, nervous, or dangerous. For more information email

Emotional Support Dogs. An Emotional Support Animal (ESA), also referred to as a caring dog, is a dog which provides a therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of a person's mental or psychiatric disability. A physician must write a prescription stating that the person has a verifiable disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal. For more information visit

Pets With A Mission does not accept Service or Emotional Support Dogs as therapy dogs unless they are no longer utilized as a(n) Emotional Support or Service Dog. The reason for this is that the dog has a specific purpose while being a(n) Service/Emotional Support animal and may become confused since it is being asked to perform dual roles. For example, a dog that is trained to notify during a diabetic encounter while participating as a therapy dog, the dog may miss the diabetic cues because it is focusing on a being a therapy animal. If a retired Service or Emotional Support Dog and handler want to become a therapy team they still must qualify as any other team testing to be a therapy team.