Pet Assisted Therapy

(PAT) Program

About the Program

The curriculum is an ethics-based and goal-directed approach to pet assisted therapy. The program is designed to provide an academic foundation for individuals who:

  • appreciate the awesome implications of pets in our lives
  • understand our responsibility to all living things
  • recognize the possibilities that pets can provide such as wellness, friendship, adjunct treatment for medical and emotional conditions, education, stimulation, motivation and character building.

The level of study of this program is appropriate for already-licensed professionals interested in extending their repertoire, for paraprofessionals in need of additional education and for nonprofessionals seeking an opportunity to make a difference.

Students completing the program receive a certificate of completion from CCRI and are eligible to apply for credentialing from the Windwalker Humane Coalition for Professional Pet Assisted Therapy.

Important Note:

Prior to Course II, students are required to have insurance for their pet. Please consult with your insurance agent.

Pet Assisted Therapy I

Family Therapy Pets – The Ethical Foundation of PAT

This course looks at the bond between humans and companion animals from a historical, theoretical and practical perspective. The course will focus on history, research, ethics, safety and legal issues. Students will learn how to set up safe and effective treatment-based programs in a variety of settings. The link of these between animals and people also will be covered. The format will include visiting credentialed family therapy pets, lectures, discussions, videos, guest speakers and field trips. Temperament testing also will be included. State-of-the-art issues including credentialing and insurance will be covered. It is hoped that, by the end of Course I, each student will have a solid educational background to build on his or her bond of love, trust and understanding with the family pet, so as to be able to create professional pet assisted therapy programs based on the pet's personality and his or her own humanity, background, talents and interests. Students must pass PAT I before going on to PAT II.

$199 + $5 non-refundable registration fee (textbook included)

Pet Assisted Therapy II

Building on the Bond – Hands-On, Paws-On Learning

In this course, the family therapy pet and guardian will work together getting acclimated to the sights, sounds and situations encountered in agencies and schools, including wheelchairs, school bells, elevators and stairs. The class includes training in pet therapy skills, basic obedience and lectures on animal behavior, how to "read" the pet and pet therapy with other animals, which are welcomed in the internship. Teams also will have the opportunity to practice approaching a patient in bed. There will be a mid-term evaluation as well as a final competency.

$199 + $5 non-refundable registration fee

60403 PATT-2000-850

Sat, 10a.m. - Noon, 8 mtgs, Sep 9 - Oct 28, 2017

Elmhurst Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
50 Maude Street
Providence, RI 02908

Learn how to register...

Pet Assisted Therapy III

Internship: Experiencing the Joy

This professional internship typically spans six months and is divided into two segments. In the first, the typical student will spend one hour per week for 10 weeks. At our Elmhurst Extended Care site, students will work with their family therapy pets in the program dubbed "Moving Forward with Joy." At the Cranston Arc site, teams will work in the program "Maximum Joy." Both of these sites not only have graduates of this program as full-time staff, but long have welcomed professional pet assisted therapy into their facilities.

In the second phase of the internship, students will work directly with an advisor to create their own program in a site that does not have pet therapy. Following the initial program development, based on the students and their pets' interests and talents, they will then complete one hour per week for 10 weeks.

$199 + $5 non-refundable registration fee

60421 PATT-3000-850 (Jul - Dec, 2017)

Learn how to register...

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

This program is a three course certificate program including Theory (Course I) Experiential Learning (Course II) and Internship (Course III).

This program welcomes all who wish to share their love for their family pet with those in need of a “loving touch” in an ethically based and goal-oriented program in which the pet, the client and society – all benefit.

This program welcomes individuals from all walks of life, all ages, all professions (or not) – who have a deep and abiding respect for all living things.

This program is looking for individuals who, not only wish to work with their own pet to help others, but who are confident individuals, with good judgment, who are “thinking outside the box” visionaries looking for an opportunity to help make the world a better place.

This program welcomes individuals who cherish their pets, as family, and who have a strong bond of trust and understanding with them.

This program welcomes pets of any species, age, size and description, as long as they are family members of the student and, of course, as long as they eagerly and spontaneously wish to share their love with one and all.

This program also welcomes individuals, who may not have a pet, at the moment but who wish to learn about this profession.

This program welcomes pets, regardless of their energy level, as long as they love people, because one of the goals of the program is to build on whatever personality the pet has-in order that safe and effective programming can take place.

In this program, students will move from a classroom based experience where they will learn ethics, safety, research, legal and insurance issues, as well as how to set up professional programs – to “hands-on/paws-on learning, in which the students’ pet experience sites and sounds of PAT environments (wheel-chairs, school bells, stairs, elevators) to an opportunity to intern with your pet first, generally , with a mentor and finally, in a program of your own creation.

During this program, students will have opportunities for discussion, lectures from credentialed PAT facilitators, videos, field trips, reading and writing assignments, working and learning with your own pet, as well as temperament testing.

In this program, students will be expected to provide Certificate of Good Health, for their pet, as well as proof of insurance (Homeowners is a possibility on professional liability).

At the conclusion of this program students will receive a certificate of completion from CCRI and will be eligible to apply for credentialing for themselves and their family therapy pet from the Windwalker Humane Coalition for Professional Pet Assisted Therapy.

Contact Information

CWCE Office Locations

Knight Campus, Warwick
400 East Avenue, 4th Floor
Warwick, RI 02886
Tel: 401-825-1214

Flanagan Campus, Lincoln
1762 Louisquisset Pike
Lincoln, RI 02865
Tel: 401-333-7070

Liston Campus, Providence
One Hilton Street
Providence, RI 02905
Tel: 401-455-6144

CWCE Office Hours

Para información en Español, favor llame al 401-455-6019 or 401-333-7074.

Search CWCE

This page developed and maintained by CWCE. Send comments and suggestions to .

Last Updated: 10/10/17