Therapy Animal Resources

Student reading to a Therapy Dog
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District supports the appropriate use of therapy animals in our schools and classrooms for the benefit of our students’ wellbeing and education. The school district’s therapy animal process is governed by:


    Interested in bringing your Therapy Dog to a District location?


    You must fill out a Therapy Animal Request Form on an annual basis. The request form will be routed through the proper approvals and you will be notified if your request has been granted.

    The following documents must accompany the request form.

    • Proof of certification of the dog and handler as a therapy dog team from a district-approved organization. District-approved organizations can be found here: District-Approved Therapy Dog Organizations.
    • A certificate showing the dog is of good health along with proof of the following up-to-date vaccines from a licensed veterinarian: Kennel Cough, Rabies, Distemper/Parvo/Parainflu, IDEXX Fecal Comprehension.
    • Proof of the dog’s successful completion of the Canine Good Citizen Test.
    • A copy of the handler’s private liability insurance policy.
    • Completed volunteer application packet (only applicable if the handler is not a district employee).


    Requirements of a Therapy Dog and Handler:


    Requirements of a Therapy Dog

    • The dog must be one (1) year of age or older and must have been in the handler’s direct ownership, care, and control for no less than one calendar year prior to the date of the submission of the therapy dog request form.
    • The dog may not have a threatening, violent, or aggressive personality, or a history of such a personality.
    • The dog may not exhibit aggression towards other dogs.
    • The dog may not be a wolf-hybrid or a coyote-hybrid, as the rabies vaccine is not proven to be fully effective in these hybrids.
    • The dog may not be trained as a protective, attack, or law enforcement dog or have a history of such training.
    • The dog must have identification such as a collar or vest that distinguishes the dog as a therapy dog and differentiates it from other dogs.
      • Pinch, choke, and/or shock collars are not permitted.
    • The dog must be properly groomed, bathed, and free of injury and illness.
    • The dog must arrive to the district building properly fed and hydrated.

    Requirements of a Therapy Dog Handler:

    • The handler must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
    • The handler may only bring one therapy dog to a district building at a time.
    • The handler must carry on their person a copy of their handler’s up-to-date certification.
    • The handler must carry on their person a copy of the therapy dog’s up-to-date certification and vaccinations.
    • The handler is responsible for the physical and mental needs of the therapy dog such as when the dog is tired, hungry, stressed, or needs to relieve itself.
      • The handler is responsible for the immediate cleanup of any animal waste on district property.
    • The handler is required to maintain control of the therapy dog via a leash, no longer than four (4) feet, which must be held by the handler or tethered to an object heavier than the dog.
      • The therapy dog may be off-leash and not tethered if the leash and/or tether interferes with the specific task or duty the dog is there to perform.
    • The handler may not leave the therapy dog unsupervised or alone.
    • The handler must remain in the area outlined in their approved Therapy Animal Request Form.