Pet Connections Expands Focus to Include Animal Assisted Intervention Volunteer Certification and Membership

Pet Connections, a division of Ontario ARC, is expanding its community volunteer opportunities to include Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) volunteer certification and membership. Pet Connections was created in 2012 as the first of its kind Animal Assisted Intervention resource specifically developed to benefit people with disabilities or other challenges.

Similar to national organizations, Pet Connections will offer certified volunteers access to individualized volunteer opportunities, unique training and workshops, as well as liability insurance coverage.

“Through our expansion, which will provide training and certification to dog and handler teams, Pet Connections will be able to expand their reach into the community to provide quality Animal Assisted Interventions,” said Gail Furst, Animal Assisted Activity and Therapy Trainer at Ontario ARC.

“We partner with regional hospitals, schools, businesses, as well as civic organizations and engage with all walks of life – two and four-legged,” said Furst. Pet Connections volunteers visit these organizations with certified therapy dogs to share the benefits of working with animals in the community. The program offers a range of environments suitable for a number of canine personalities.

Pet Connections welcomes all breeds and sizes of dogs that meet the eligibility requirements and graduate to become Pet Connections Certified. The program also offers one of the premier therapy dog training programs in the Northeast.

To learn more about Pet Connections certified therapy dog registration, please visit If you would like more information, please contact Gail Furst at 585-919-2146 or or Brenda Burton at 585-919-2126 or at

Pet Connections, a division of Ontario ARC, combines the healing power of pets with socialization to provide a unique experience for each person. Connecting animals and people is what Pet Connections is all about. To learn more, visit