Can you tell me more about dog-ministry organization(s)?
Though there does not yet exist a formal organization for Four-Footed Ministers, the training manual
that was part of the dissertation project will provide facilities with the process of developing their own in-house programs
based on the CAM/PS Model. While there exists an
early discussion of the CAM/PS Model (Four-Footed Ministers: Their Theology of Presence) available at www.Amazon.com, the 2013 training manual for the Four-Footed Ministers Pastoral-Care
Program is available at bookstore.iuniverse.com in both print and eBook formats.
kind of training does a person need to become a Four-Footed Ministerial team? We direct potential
ministerial teams to take the series of tests for registration through Pet Partners, Bellevue, Washington (www.petpartners.org).
These tests for registration insure that the dog and owner are appropriately screened and can function safely in the
environment. As a volunteer, the Pet Partners team is covered under a general liability insurance policy. Professional
pastoral-care providers need to investigate their liability coverage with their own organizations.
Volunteers with no pastoral care training
should seek guidance from their church or the spiritual-care department where they volunteer. The training manual listed above
has suggestions for chaplains/directors of spiritual care on recruiting and training volunteers in this ministry.
Can a lay person form a Four-Footed Ministerial team with their
dog? Most certainly. It is important for the person who is not trained in a seminary
setting to seek guidance on spiritual/pastoral-care issues from professionals, from either the spiritual/pastoral-services
department of the facility where they volunteer or from a member of their pastoral-care department of their church.
What are the best breeds for this form of ministry/pastoral and
spiritual care? It is not the breed that qualifies the dog for participation, but the individual
dog's willingness to seek out human beings who are in need, regardless of that person's size, age, or physical challenges.
This quality characterizes the most successful candidate for the Four-Footed Ministers Pastoral-Care Program.
Where do the dogs get their training? A
dog who has the quality of empathy coupled with basic obedience training that meets standards of behavior set by Pet
Partners, will be a successful Four-Footed Minister candidate. There are many local resources for dog training but the
best place to begin is the local humane society that often has lists of local dog trainers who can work with the owner/handler
and the dog.
you have more questions? Please feel free to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org