Ocean County College Offers Pet Therapy Certification Course

Jan 29, 2018

Ocean County College is going to the dogs! Check out the college’s Pet Therapy Preparation and Certification course, offered this winter and spring on behalf of the Department of Continuing and Professional Education, in partnership with Caregiver Canines and Compassionate Canine Training LCC.

Owners and pets will train to be tested and certified as a therapy dog team. The certification allows the duo to volunteer with Caregiver Canines, performing home visits to the local senior community as well as hospitals, assisted living facilities, schools and businesses that allow pet therapy visitations.

Caregiver Canines is a local nonprofit whose mission is to bring joy and companionship to the elderly and homebound by bringing therapy teams directly to them in the comfort of their own homes.

Dog trainer Kelly M. Keeney, of Compassionate Canine Trailing LCC, is a certified professional dog trainer and a certified behavior adjustment training instructor.

Classes meet on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Session one runs Feb. 3 to March 3, with a certification evaluation scheduled for March 10. Session two is April 7 to April 28, and the evaluation is set for May 5.

The course fee is $299.

“The need for certified teams in Ocean County is far beyond the number of dogs being trained,” OCC explains. “This new hands-on training course is geared for dog/handler teams and will help meet that need.

“Pet therapy visits enrich lives, encourage personal connections, and also provide the dogs with an opportunity to use interactive skills that help keep them mentally and physically fit.”

As the college notes, the dogs participating in the course “do not need to be ‘perfect,’ but should like meeting new people and have a basis in obedience: sit, stay, come, down, and loose leash walking.”

To register, call OCC’s Department of Continuing and Professional Education at 732-255-0404 or visit ocean.edu/cpe.htm. —J.K.-H.

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