Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy About Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy   Yankee




How to become a member

A mandatory class required for membership

Learn how to train your dog to become an Animal Assisted Therapy Partner.

Your dog should be at least 10 months old and familiar with basic obedience commands (sit, down, stay, etc.). Handlers must be 18 or older to attend the Intro class.

The course includes instruction on hand signals, getting your dog to work for others, and an introduction to the games used in our therapy work to help improve/enhance verbal and motor skills.

Boy feeding dog

You must pass the Rainbow test, administered in the last Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy session, in order to be a working Rainbow team. Annual re-evaluations are also required for all Rainbow members’ dog teams.

A packet, including the membership application and additional requirements, is provided during the Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy class. Rainbow requires that all new members undergo a criminal background check as part of our membership process. Annual membership dues are $45.00 for an individual membership (1 handler, 1 dog) or $65.00 for a family membership (2 handlers, 1 dog).

Membership requirement

Visit a Rainbow program such as a hospital, school, library, or residential center without your dog.

Membership requirement


Once you have completed the class and passed the Rainbow Registry Test, done your without dog observations, this is your next step. These visits are with your dog, where you observe for the first part of the session and participate in the last part of the session.

Please note: There is additional training required to work in a Rainbow hospital program.


You will be placed in an internship, usually 4-6 sessions, working alongside experienced teams, in order to give you additional opportunities to develop more therapy skills and techniques beyond what is taught in our AAT classes. The programs you intern may remain permanent depending on the needs of the program and where you are interested in volunteering.

When you have successfully completed your internship you may begin working in Rainbow programs.



Rainbow will try to accommodate your program preferences when being placed in a permanent program rotation, however there are other factors in making this final placement decision. A couple of these considerations may include, but not exclusively; the program may already be filled with volunteers or the temperament of the dog doesn't work well in that program's environment.

1. You will be contacted by our Program Coordinators for permanent program placement.

2. Please note: There is additional training required to work in a Rainbow hospital program.

3. Animal assisted therapy is a goal directed intervention in a therapeutic environment in the presence of professional staff. Due to these AAT protocols, the vast majority of Rainbow programs are conducted during weekday hours, especially at schools and hospitals when staff and participants are available. Very few facilities are visited on weekends. Most of the library read to the dog programs are conducted in the evening, some are on Saturday mornings.

4. More than 90% of our therapy programs accommodate the needs of children.


If you have any questions during this process, please contact Robin Simborg 773-383-1153 or rainbowaat@gmail.com

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Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy, Inc. is an Illinois 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

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