Welcome. The GPCA Versatility program and title series is designed to honor our dogs for their accomplishments in a number of areas. These accomplishments include a wide variety of activities that cover the gamut from staffing information booths, therapy dog visits, pulling carts in events (or around the property helping owners haul things), showing in dog shows for championships, obedience, rally obedience, and all the other AKC titles offered, sports including mountain climbing, hiking, etc., service work and activities acknowledged with certificates of accomplishment.
Please go to the Workbook to learn more detail, and see how much your dog(s) have already accomplished or how much you would like to accomplish with your dog(s) in the future. Accomplishments can be cumulative, and dogs who have earned titles, certificates, or completed a number of activities over a period of past years are eligible to receive a title.
There are five levels, each one offering its own title for the dog, beginning with the Versatility Ambassador and continuing with the Versatility Emissary, Versatility Excellent, Versatility Advanced Excellent, and finishing with the Versatility Ultimate. Specific requirements are listed in the Workbook. Complete Workbooks are either sent by USPS mail or email to Judy Skorup, Chair, GPCA Versatility Committee.
For more information, contact Judy Skorup, GPCA Versatility Chair at 215–721–8521, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send completed books to Judy Skorup, 237 N. Hamilton Street, Telford, PA 18969
AAT&A TITLE REQUIREMENTS: Levels 1, 2, and 3
The Delta Society has developed guidelines that distinguish between two categories of therapy visits: Animal- Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). In brief, animal-assisted activities are basically the casual "meet and greet" activities that involve pets visiting people. The same activity can be repeated with many people, unlike an animal-assisted therapy program that is tailored to a particular person or medical condition.
Visits are defined as follows: Minimum of one hour in a hospital, nursing home, juvenile detention hall, or other such institution, and on a regular basis. Dogs that have already completed hours of visits can apply these to the title requirements. In some cases, visits may be for more than one hour, so we want to acknowledge the hours, not limit the count to the number of visits. Often, the facility documents the number of hours a team has visited the residents.
1. Pass a temperament test and have a card from a certifying organization such as Delta Society, Therapy Dogs International (TDI), or other comparable recognized testing organization. Dogs who are already certified would not have to be re-certified. Certifications must be up-to-date.
2. Submit Documentation listed below.
Submit verification of 200 hours of service.
Level 2 – Advanced:
Submit verification of an additional 300 hours of service, totaling a minimum of 500 hours, served in at least two different sites/venues or two different departments in a single institution. A minimum of 20 hours must be served in each of the different therapy programs.
Level 3 – Advanced Excellent:
Submit verification of an addition 300 hours, totaling a minimum of 800 hours, served in at least three different sites/venues or three different departments in a single institution. A minimum of 20 hours must be served in each of the different therapy programs.
On a cover sheet, give the following information:
- Dog's registered and call name.
- Owner's name, address, telephone and e-mail address
- Certification of therapy visitation with organization name(s) and authorized verifying signatures.
- Visitation sites.
Attach the following items:
- Photo of the dog (more than one photo is great! – one photo will be chosen to be placed in the Bulletin.
- Description of the services provided by the dog/owner team
- Verification of the minimum number of hours at the site(s). This can either be an attendance sheet signed by institution personnel as submitted to the certification agency or a letter from a representative of the institution.
- A summary of the experiences shared by the team in the institution(s) visited. This summary should be at least one page long, describing the institution(s), purpose of the visits and how both the dog and those visited respond to each other. Specific stories are welcome. Each title level requires a summary.
TYPES OF VISITATION SITES:
In addition to the hospital/nursing home visits, dogs are used in courtrooms, airports, reading programs for children, classrooms and juvenile detention sites. In addition, the dog(s) may provide ongoing therapy for an individual (as one of our AAT&A recipients did, verified by a lawyer and physician).