Join Us

Join Us at New York Therapy Animals
Help Inspire a Difference


New York Therapy Animals offers a comprehensive continuing education therapy animal program to ensure safety, confidence and enjoyment.

We call it “Serious Fun!”

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“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” —Rumi


Become a Therapy Animal Team

New York Therapy Animals requires the handler and their pet to complete this 6-step education process to become a registered and insured therapy animal team with their dog, cat or bunny.

1. Attend the 1 day ITA Workshop


  • Copyrighted ITA therapy team training manual since 1993
  • Educating the handler without your animal to have your undivided attention
  • Fun and informative day with interactive conversation and guest speakers
  • Licensed ITA Instructors: Nancy George-Michalson and Michele Siegel
  • Topics: Preparation, Procedures, Populations, Safety, Etiquette, Placement, Demonstrations, Q and A
  • Workshops are held in New York City at the Ronald McDonald House-New York
  • Discount for families in the same household sharing the training manual
  • Reservations required/Workshop taught every 6 weeks
  • Workshop required for volunteers without an animal


2. Therapy Dog Training Classes with Michele Siegel

Michele is a CPDT, APDT, CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Licensed Evaluator, ITA Licensed Evaluator/Instructor with 23+ years of therapy dog teaching experience


  • Learn to build a solid and supportive relationship with your dog
  • Compassionate and humane teaching methods building trust and respect
  • Learn life-long lessons with expert guidance through positive reinforcement techniques
  • Refresh basic obedience cues
  • Familiarize you and your dog around medical equipment
  • Prepare you and your dog for the evaluation skills and aptitude screening
  • New York City location: 75th and Paws
  • New class series continuously every 6 weeks
  • All levels/Dogs can begin training at 4-5 months with completed vaccinations
  • Family members are welcome to attend classes
  • Private training and personal assistance
  • Continuing education classes
  • Trick classes
  • Puppy classes


3. Evaluation Screening as a team with your animal partner


  • Teams are registered (not certified) meaning that the team has been screened by ITA licensed evaluators meeting the requirements determined by the ITA team testing
  • Scheduled on a date after the workshop and training classes
  • Reservations required
  • Monthly evaluation schedule
  • Follow up classes, meetings and mentoring to maintain continuity of skills and aptitude exercises


4. ITA Registration application


  • Animal health screening
  • Handler knowledge review
  • Personal assistance
  • Discounted family rates
  • Volunteer without an animal
  • Volunteer with additional animal


  1. Placement Opportunities

125Lighthouse Guild School visit May 2015

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6. Personal ongoing support and mentoring

  • Continuing education classes for the human and dog
  • Fully supportive with active participation with teams
  • Shadow current teams
  • Observation venues
  • Personal attention
  • Networking events
  • Share your experiences