TINKERBELLE REMEMBERS: The Journey Begins

The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.

By Mollie Hunt

Part 4. The journey begins.

While Tinkerbelle got used to her new home, her new people, and her three new kitty siblings, I set about learning how to turn her into a therapy cat. There are several different groups that register cats for Animal Assisted Interaction (AAI). The one I knew the most about was Pet Partners, formerly the Delta Society, which began right here in the Pacific Northwest. I googled Pet Partners and got good information from their website. Since I volunteer for the Oregon Humane Society who has a Pet Partners chapter, I had help answering my questions. And there were a lot of them:

Why do I need to be registered with a group such as Pet Partners?

Does she need any special training?

How do I get my TC registered? Does she have to take a test?

How much does it cost?

At OHS, I was able to take a class that covered the big book of Pet Partners. Here are the answers:

Why do I need to be registered with a group such as Pet Partners?

Registering with a group provides training, experience, and most of all, insurance in case something goes wrong.

Does she need any special training?

Aside from a calm and pleasant personality, cats don’t require special training; they must, however, be accustomed to a harness and leash, and deal well with travel and new situations.

How do I get my TC registered? Does she have to take a test?

Cats do have to take a test which simulates situations they might encounter on  a real visit, such as a dog, noisy people, or the clatter of a hospital. They will be passed between strangers, sat on stragers’ laps, and petted clumsily as someone might do at an institution.

How much does it cost?

It costs over $100 for the 2-year registration, but the money goes to keep Pet Partners going, and for me, it was worth every penny to know I had the professional group standing with me at all times.

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About Tinkerbelle:
Tink served for four years as a registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat, visiting assisted living facilities and hospice patients. Tink is now retired and living the quiet life. Check out her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerbelleTheTherapyCat/

About Mollie Hunt:
Mollie is the author of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, and the Cat Writers’ Association. This year she won a CWA Muse Medallion for her 3-part blogpost series, “Life Stages”.

Like Lynley, Mollie is a grateful shelter volunteer. She is a longtime volunteer for the Oregon Humane Society where she socializes sad, fearful, and behavior-challenged cats. She also fosters sick and elderly cats in her home. In 2014, she had the privilege to work with cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy on a particularly thought-provoking case.

You can find Mollie on her Website: http://www.lecatts.wordpress.com/, her Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt, and her Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/.

Sign up for her Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn.

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