whn logoWarm Hearts Network

The Warm Hearts Network is comprised of human-dog teams who both enjoy meeting new people and new environments.  Our team members include volunteers, dog trainers and handlers, and human healthcare/social service professionals, pet dogs and dogs with more professional duties. Teams are expected to visit at least twice a month to maintain active membership. Teams that have a 60 day lapse in visiting should be retested at the owners expense. The WHN includes two different tracks:

Visiting Teams

These are human-dog teams who perform volunteer visitations focused on activities that are casual and leisurely based. They may visit individuals or groups of people in a variety of our pre-approved community locations. A volunteer visiting team may be requested to work directly with a paid healthcare/social service provider (Animal Assisted Therapy or AAT), or educational provider (Animal Assisted Education or AAE) within their scope of practice, when the professional does not have a dog of their own in the work setting.  If the licensed professional is not present, it is a visiting session with animal assisted activities. WHN visiting teams participate in a screening, an entry level WHN course, a formal evaluation, and finally registered as WHN Visiting Team. The team re-evaluates and re-registers every two years.

Professional Teams

Professional teams perform their work under paid professional conditions. The goals of the session are specifically part of a healthcare (AAT) or educational (AAE) plan. AAT and AAE are based specifically on the qualifications of the human professional. The goals are established, directed, and measured by a healthcare, social service, or educational professional.  Most frequently, this involves a healthcare, social service, or educational provider who handles his or her own dog (canine co-therapist or co-educator) in a paid work situation. Other times, a volunteer visiting team may participate in the session alongside the professional. The professional human-animal team may also perform volunteer visiting outside of paid work. WHN professional teams participate in a screening, WHN entry-level course work, and formal evaluation and begin as registered volunteer visiting teams. 

To gain capacity as a professional team, there are additional requirements to meet state standards specific to each profession’s scope of practice.  Due to the complexities and workload of the professional teams, it is recommended that they re-evaluate and re-register each year, or when there is a change in environment, population, caseload or if additional handlers would like to utilize the dog in sessions.  ($15 test, $20 registration per year).

The Process

Volunteer Visiting Teams and Phase I for Professional Teams

  1. Screening (must be completed 30 days prior to scheduled classes) No Fee
  2. WHN Coaching Class (by referral, for teams that need additional tips) No Fee
  3. WHN Entry Level Handler Coursework (offered 2-3 times per year) $15 per one human-one dog team, or $25 for a couple with one dog.
  4. Veterinary Screening
  5. Team Testing- $15 per team (one dog/one human team); $25 (two humans one dog)
  6. Registration for Volunteer Visiting Teams: $30 for 2 years per team; couple $50.
    Registration for Professional Teams is $30 for the initial test.
  7. Renewal for Volunteer Visiting Teams is every two years ($15 test fee, $30 registration).
    Renewal for Professional Teams is each year ($15 test, $20 registration per team per year).

Phase II for Professional Teams:
All of the above, followed by:

  1. Contact your state professional licensing board and obtain a copy of your professions standards and scope of practice/governing statutes, and continuing education requirements. http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Boards_and_Commissions.aspx
  2. Participate in professional level continuing education/coursework for animal assisted therapy/animal assisted education www.dogwoodtherapyservices.com is one local organization that provides continuing education for licensed professionals.

Screening - No Fee

Sharing your dog with others can be a fun experience. In order to be successful, you and your dog should both enjoy going new places and meeting new people. A good human-dog team has excellent verbal and non-verbal communication. WHN teams have basic obedience training and interact with each other and community members in a calm and friendly manner.  WHN teams use human training and handling techniques, and do not rely on physical force such as pushing the dog’s hips into a sit position, using choke chains, nor jerking the leash for compliance.

To qualify for a screening:

  • Dog is at least 1 year old
  • Dog has been part of your family for at least 6 months
  • Dog displays exceptional behavior and personality traits
  • Dog enjoys interactions with other people
  • Dog is not easily overwhelmed by novel noises, sights, touch, or smells
  • Dog can perform basic obedience skills including sit, come, down, stay, walk on a loose leash, walk by food on the ground without taking it, work in the presence of other dogs, and easily engage with a stranger
  • Dog does not require choke chain, muzzle, or physical corrections
  • Dog responds quickly and accurately to cues in novel environments and with distractions
  • Person is attentive to their dog and knows their preferences for populations
  • Person can engage dog using calm voice
  • Person can predict or respond to dogs needs

If your team CAN demonstrate the above skills in familiar and unfamiliar environments with distractions present, select a screening date, contact the screening consultant for that date to make reservations.  There is no charge for the screening. If the team does not pass screening, they may be referred for ongoing training, and  must be rescreened prior to testing (see schedule for the year).

If you or your dog are NOT quite ready to complete the screening, and you would like some classes (fee for service) we recommend the following:

WHN Coaching Course - No Fee

This course is offered by referral only. It is meant for teams who participated in the screening process with our consultants, but could use training tips for specific test items.  

WHN Entry Level Handlers Course - Cost: $15.00

Once you have passed screening, the WHN staff will email a form to both the registrar and to our WHN class instructor. It is your responsibility to contact the class instructor to register for the class at warmheartsnetwork@animalhumanenm.org.

This is an entry-level course for humans; dogs do not attend this class. However, please bring a photo of your pet to share with the class. Also, bring a sack lunch. The class is typically a full day depending upon the number of participants. Attendees will be oriented to Animal Humane New Mexico programs and then to the Warm Hearts Network Program Specifics including visits, dog handling responsibilities and skills, patient/client interactions, policies and procedures, and the actual evaluation and re-evaluation process.

This class is only offered 2-3 times per year. Your screening must be completed 30 days prior to the class, and the WHN class is a prerequisite for the team evaluation.

The WHN class costs $15.00 per human.  Checks are made out to Warm Hearts Network, and brought to the class. Location: Dogwood Therapy Services, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite I, Albuquerque, NM, 87114.

WHN Evaluation - Fee: Visiting Team $10.00 ; Professional Teams $15.00

The team will be guided through a series of activities in which they demonstrate practical application of skills and knowledge that are frequently encountered in a volunteer visiting environment.  All activities must receive a passing score for the team to become a REGISTERED member of the WHN. All new teams receive clearance to visit in a predictable, low activity environment.

Registration

Registration for Volunteer Visiting Teams: $30 for 2 years per team; couple $50

Registration for Professional Teams is $30 for the initial test.

Renewal for Volunteer Visiting Teams is every 2 years ($15 test fee, $30 registration).

Renewal for Professional Teams is each year ($15 test, $20 registration per team per year)

Upon successful passing evaluation scores, a team registers as a member of WHN. The team is asked to ensure their team is identified as a member by wearing identification:

  • Photo ID (required)
  • Bandana or Vest (required)
  • T-Shirts for Humans (optional)

The team will then complete mentorship sessions and then select an approved location for regular visiting or professional work. The visiting teams must re-test each year or if there is a change in visiting environment, population, or health of the dog. Professional teams re-test each year and if there is a change in the environment, population, or health of the dog.

Mentorship - No Fee

After a team passes has successfully completed testing, they will be assigned a mentor to shadow. The human partner will shadow a seasoned team for a visit to see the process, the policies and procedures in action.  If need be, the human can request numerous visits with a mentor and may ask to bring their dog to shadowing (after the first visit).

Calendar

Spring 2014- Testing will occur on February 22nd, 2014

All screening and coursework must be completed PRIOR to this date.

Screening Opportunities:

January 11, 2014; (10:00-12:00 pm)
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation by January 3rd, 2014
505-228-4650 or Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

Coaching Class (People & Dogs): January 18th, 2014; (2:00-4:00 pm)
*This course is invitation only, and meant for teams who need additional tips for training. It will help teams get ready for the next testing date. Teams will re-screen prior to testing.
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Contact Dani for reservation by January 11th, 2014
daniw@earthlink.net

Rescreen: February 8th, 2014 (2:00 – 4:00 pm)
*This course is invitation only, and meant for teams who attended the coaching class.
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Contact Dani for reservation by February 1st, 2014
daniw@earthlink.net

Handler’s Workshop (People Only):  Feb. 15, 2014 (9:00 – 3:00 pm)
* Bring a photo of your dog and a sack lunch
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation by February 8th, 2014
505-228-4650 or Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

Evaluation & Registration:  Feb. 22, 2014; (9:00 – 1:00 pm)
Adelante Development Center
3900 Osuna Road NE
Please park on NE side of building
Must have passed screening

Summer 2014- Evaluation and Registration Occurs on July 19th
All screening and coursework must be completed PRIOR to this date.

Screening Opportunities: Reservation deadlines are 7 days prior to the scheduled dates.

April 26th, 2013; (10:00 – 2:00 pm)
Location: Animal Humane Main Campus, 615 Virginia St SE, 87108
Gary Lemkuhl Education Room
Contact Lauren for reservation by April 19th
argus10@comcast.net

May 23rd, 2014; (2:00-4:00 pm)
Location: Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Boulevard NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Dani W. for reservation
daniw@earthlink.net

May 31st, 2014; (10:00-12:00 pm)
Dogwood 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation:
505-228-4650 or Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

Workshop:  July 5th, 2014 (9:00 – 3:00 pm)
Dogwood 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation:
505-228-4650 or Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

Evaluation & Registration:  July 19th, 2014 (9:00 – 1:00 pm)
Adelante Development Center, 3900 Osuna Road NE
Please park on NE side -
Park near West door in July

Coaching Class (People & Dogs) August 2nd, 2014; (2:00-4:00 pm)
*This course is invitation only, and meant for teams who need additional tips for training.
It will help teams get ready for the next testing date. Teams will re-screen prior to testing.
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Dani for reservation by July 26th, 2014
daniw@earthlink.net

Fall 2014- Evaluation and Registration takes place on September 27th, 2014
All screening and coursework must be completed PRIOR to this date.

Screening Opportunities: Reservation deadline is 7 days prior to event date.

July 26th, 2014 (10:00 – 2:00 pm)
Location: Animal Humane Main Campus, 615 Virginia St SE, 87108
Gary Lemkuhl Education Room
Contact Lauren for reservation by July 19th, 2014
argus10@comcast.net

August 2nd, 2014 (10:00-12:00 pm)
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation by July 23rd, 2014
Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

August 15th, 2014; (2:00 – 4:00 pm)
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Boulevard NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Dani W. for reservation by August 8th, 2014
daniw@earthlink.net

Workshop:  September 13th, 2014 (9:00 – 3:00 pm)
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Melissa for reservation by September 6th, 2014:
Melissa@dogwoodtherapy.com

Evaluation & Registration:  September 27th, 2014; (9:00 -1:00 pm)
Adelante Development Center, 3900 Osuna Road NE, Albuq. NM
Must have passed screening, reservations required.
Contact Ray for reservations by September 14th:  whn_registrar@yahoo.com
Please park on NE side

Coaching Class (People & Dogs): October 11th, 2014 (2:00-4:00 pm)
*This course is invitation only, and meant for teams who need additional tips for training.
It will help teams get ready for the next testing date. Teams will re-screen prior to testing.
Dogwood, 1111 Alameda Blvd. NW, Suite “I”, Albuq., NM 87114
Contact Dani for reservation by October 4th , 2014
daniw@earthlink.net

 

Contact warmheartsnetwork@animalhumanenm.org