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We are a local group and serve the Albuquerque and the surrounding areas.

  • What is the minimum age to be a handler? You must be 18 years of age.

  • What does a therapy dog do?

    A therapy dog provides comfort, compassion, and distraction to patients, families, and staff in a variety of settings.

  • Is a therapy dog the same as a service dog?



    Service Dogs have extensive training to perform tasks needed to assist one person/handler with whatever disabilities they have, such as giving help with dressing, detecting oncoming seizures, or alerting a person with PTSD to situations that might trigger anxiety to prevent inappropriate reactions.


    Therapy Dogs are trained to help people other than their handlers, providing comfort and distraction. They help reduce anxiety by their presence, actions, and through the sense of touch.

  • Can a service dog become a therapy dog?

    SCCV does not register certified service dogs. Working service dogs already have a job, and it is to be totally focused on the person utilizing the dog’s specific skill set. Asking the dog to ‘moonlight’ as a therapy dog is unfair to the service dog and the person being served.
    Retired service dogs and dogs who do not complete service dog training often make great therapy dogs and are welcome to participate in an evaluation.


      Though each dog must go through the entire training process with its handler, several members have two or more therapy dogs. This allows the handler          to visit more facilities more frequently. However, only one therapy dogs is permitted for each visit.


      Members may take another dog through training after the previous dog graduates and has been visiting for at least one year.

  • If my dog or I have a physical disability, are we disqualified?

      Not necessarily.

      A registered SCCV team must be able to maintain safety for the dog, handler, and for those visited, without assistance. Teams will only be disqualified if          the handler’s physical disability would impede this safety expectation.​


  • What are the benefits of SCCV, Inc. membership? Why should I become a member instead of just visiting by myself with my dog?

    SCCV has an outstanding reputation within the community. Many of the facilities and events our volunteers visit are restricted to SCCV members because of our reputation for well-trained and well-behaved dogs and our emphasis on the safety of our dogs and the people they meet.


    "SCCV veterans" provide tips and suggestions as well as Team Development sessions. We have established facilities that welcome us offering an "open door" for our visits.  We also provide insurance for handlers and dogs registered with SCCV. The facilities are aware of this insurance and of the safety of all when we visit.


    Volunteering with SCCV provides the opportunity to meet new friends with like interests and goals for serving the community. We present social events throughout the year for dogs and members, recognize our members with hours awards, and recognize teams who have successfully completed the Team Development Program at a Graduation Party.


    SCCV has an informative online newsletter to maintain continuity among members which includes entertaining and important updates.

  • What is the time commitment once training is completed?

    Members are required to report a minimum of 36 hours of service per year to remain "active in good standing". Service which supports SCCV may include activities other than visiting facilities, such as administrative service. We recognize that often "life" interferes with volunteer activities, and we make allowances and adaptations for teams undergoing such situations.

  • What are on-going costs of being an SCCV member?

    Annual Dues are $30 for a single membership, $45.00 for a family membership.

    Annual Insurance Fees are $55 for the first dog and $5 for each additional dog.

    Members are also responsible for any veterinary fees associated with meeting health certificate requirements. This might include exam and vaccination fees, which are variable for each pet healthcare provider.

Team Development

  • What is required to prepare for Evaluations?

    Both dog and handler will be evaluated separately and together because their success in pet therapy depends on their individual characteristics and the way they work together as a team. 


      Click here for more detailed Evaluation and Team Development information.

      Click here for more detailed Evaluation and Team Development information.

  • What is the Team Development Program cost?

    There is a $30 SCCV Team Development fee. For current members, the fee is $20.

    Some dogs may require additional help from a dog obedience school. Dog owners are responsible for any additional outside training costs.

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