Caring Canines

Caring Canines is a formal animal-assisted activities program launched in September 2011 at both the Phoenix and Scottsdale campuses of Mayo Clinic. Registered dogs and their owners make "meet and greet" visits in hospital and clinic waiting areas. Dogs registered with the following organizations are eligible to volunteer at Mayo Clinic:

  • Pet Partners
  • Therapy Dogs International (TDI)
  • Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD)


To be eligible for Caring Canines:

  • If you are offered a volunteer position with us, you will be required to complete an Occupational Health visit (at Mayo Clinic's expense) to show that you are negative for tuberculosis and have been vaccinated against measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and chicken pox (varicella).
  • Handlers must be at least 21 years old
  • Handlers must have a valid Arizona Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • Handlers and their dog(s) must have six months of experience volunteering in a health care setting
  • Dogs must be up to date on mandatory vaccinations.
    • Rabies
    • Bordetella (kennel cough)
    • Distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus
    • Most recent fecal exam showing negative for parasite ova

Download the animal health record to be completed and signed by your veterinarian (PDF).

Application process

To apply for Caring Canines, complete and submit the online application, selecting “Pet Therapy” in the service area preferences section. After you submit your completed application, certifications and vaccination records, Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services will contact you to schedule an interview for you and your dog.

For more information, contact Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services.