MO-KAN MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES & BEST PRACTICES 2015
MO-KAN PET PARTNERS
Mo-Kan members must demonstrate compliance with Pet Partners’ Code of Ethics and all policies and procedures. Members will adhere to Mo-Kan’s Constitution/ By-Laws and all Mo-Kan Pet Partner policies and procedures. The current documents are available on the PET PARTNER® website, www.petpartners.org and the Mo-Kan website, www.Mo-Kanpetpartners.org
MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES TEAM VISITS
Mo-Kan members must provide at least four volunteer hours each year visiting at a facility or assisting at a Mo-Kan event
Members are required to report all service hours to Mo-Kan. Quarterly reminders will be issued.
The Mo-Kan dress code is casual slacks, i.e. chinos, etc. Pants must be ankle length and closed toe shoes are required. Pet Partner® shirts are highly encouraged. The dress code applies when evaluating, volunteering at an evaluation, or when representing Pet Partners® or Mo-Kan. Denim blue jeans are not allowed when visiting a facility unless authorized by the facility and/or Mo-Kan. Occasionally, if the visit is outside, blue jeans or Capri length slacks are appropriate.
New handlers must shadow an experienced Mo-Kan team at least once without their partner before beginning to visit as a Mo-Kan team. A second shadow experience with partner may also be required.
Members will only visit a facility where a Pet Partner® facility agreement has been signed. Visits should not coincide with other animal therapy organizations. Mo-Kan Facility Agreements will be staffed only with current Mo-Kan teams
It is recommended that each animal partner wear either a vest or a scarf for easy identification as a Pet Partner®, in addition to the tag. No other animal therapy organization tags or attire may be worn when serving as a Pet Partner®.
Animal partners must meet Pet Partner® health standards including the absence of antibiotic, antifungal or immunosuppressive (including chemo and steroid agents) medications and raw protein food/ treats (including freeze-dried and dehydrated).
Greeting another team will only occur with permission of each handler. Greetings between teams must not occur while teams are interacting with clients. First time team encounters should occur outside of the facility.
EVALUATOR’S MISSION STATEMENT
Mo-Kan Pet Partner Evaluators will adhere to and promote Pet Partner® and Mo-Kan policies, guidelines, and standards. Evaluators will strive to energize and inspire others by upholding high standards for themselves and the teams they evaluate. Evaluators will demonstrate integrity and a courteous spirit while conducting evaluations, participating in therapy visits, interacting with other members and those we serve, including clients, facility personnel, and the general public.
New handlers must take the Pet Partner® Therapy Animal Handler Course or the Pet Partner® On-Line Handler Course before evaluating. The one day Pet Partner® Handler Course is highly recommended for newly interested teams. See the Mo-Kan or Pet Partner® website for scheduled classes.
Team evaluations are scheduled throughout the year. Dates and locations are posted on the Mo-Kan website, as well as the names of the evaluators.
Handlers are responsible for choosing an evaluator who is not a friend or family member.
A friend is defined as anyone with whom the handler has visited together, participated in activities outside of animal assisted activities or therapy, a companion, or having more than casual personal contact. If this is not possible, the handler should contact the Evaluator Coordinator for further discussion for problem solving prior to submitting forms.
Handlers are responsible for providing the current Mo-Kan registration package to the evaluator coordinator in a timely manner.
The required forms are on the Mo-Kan website, www.mokanpetpartners.org. The forms are the completed registration form, current rabies certificate, Handler Course completion certificate, and the originalHandler’s Questionnaire. The questionnaire is found in the Pet Partners® Registration Packet. The packet is also posted on the website.
It is the responsibility of the handler to schedule their evaluation before their badge expiration date. Members are not allowed to visit with an expired badge.
Handlers must cease visits after the expiration date on their badge. Handlers who do not re-evaluate within two years, must re-take the Handler Training Course.
Handlers have 90 days from the evaluation date to submit the completed registration packet to Pet Partners®. Original and current forms are required for the packet to be accepted. Handlers will receive an Acceptance Letter from Pet Partners®. New teams must wait to begin visiting until the letter is received. Renewing teams may continue to visit but are required to visit with the most recent evaluation rating.
Teams should arrive not more than 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Location and directions are located on the top of the evaluation registration form.
Handlers must bring a brush and a treat (optional). A small, soft brush is desirable. A wire brush is not allowed. If a treat is allowed, the treat will be given at the end of the evaluation by the evaluator. It is recommended not to bring a favorite one.
The evaluation begins when the handler exits his/her vehicle and ends when entering the vehicle after the evaluation.
A team evaluation is a simulated visit. Members should interact with their animal partner and the evaluation volunteers as if on an official visit and should dress accordingly.
Team ratings are reported to Pet Partners after each evaluation. In the setting of a re-evaluation, should a rating or equipment change occur, the most recent evaluation results will immediately take effect.
If a handler needs to make a last minute change to the schedule they need to contact the Evaluator Coordinator via cell phone as soon as a change is required.
The coordinator will schedule the evaluation volunteers and the teams to be evaluated.
New volunteers will receive a Pet Partner® Volunteer packet prior to the evaluation date.
All scheduling requests should be directed to the Evaluation Coordinator.
Upon receipt of a handler’s registration package, the coordinator will review for correctness and send an email confirming receipt. A copy of the confirmation will be sent to the scheduled evaluator(s) for review of familiarity. When evaluator familiarity is determined, the Evaluator Coordinator will work with the handler and evaluator to find a solution.
The coordinator will work with the handler to find the most appropriate evaluation location considering their time limits and a possible familiarity issue.
Registration checks will be sent to the Treasurer.
Cats and intact animals are required to be scheduled as the last evaluation of the day. Females in season cannot be evaluated.
Each evaluation schedule will be distributed by the Evaluation Coordinator no later than a week before each evaluation. The scheduled teams’ evaluation times, volunteers, and evaluators will be listed on the schedule.
Evaluators will receive a copy of the letter acknowledging receipt of the handler’s registration packet. After the evaluators receive a copy of the handler’s registration acknowledgment letter, it is their responsibility to further determine if the handler meets the definition of friend or family. If so, the evaluator will advise the Evaluator Coordinator that the handler should choose a different evaluation time, if possible.
Evaluators who are familiar with an animal must not evaluate the animal. The evaluator is considered “familiar” with the animal if the animal has become habituated enough to the evaluator such that the animal’s behavior is influenced, positively or negatively.
A friend is defined as anyone with whom the handler has visited together, participated in activities outside of animal assisted activities or therapy, a companion, or having more than casual personal contact.
It is the preference of the Mo-Kan evaluator to have dual evaluators at each evaluation, whenever possible. It would be an uncommon occurrence not to have two evaluators for each evaluation. One evaluator is allowed to perform an evaluation when an issue of familiarity is involved.
Another evaluator should perform the hands on portion of the evaluation In the case of familiarity. If only one evaluator is available, a team approach may be utilized. The evaluator may seek/receive input from co-evaluators, expert assistants, and/or other experienced Pet Partner volunteers in attendance.
The evaluators have the ultimate responsibility and accountability for the evaluation
A coordinator is assigned for each enrolled facility. Members will work with the coordinator responsible for the facility where they visit.
The coordinator will determine the number of visiting teams required and the visit schedule as requested by the facility. Coordinators are listed on the Mo-Kan website under Enrolled Facilities
Handlers must arrive on time for scheduled appointments.
Arrangements must be made with a substitute, or the facility coordinator should be contacted if the handler is unable to honor the commitment.
Facility coordinators are responsible to ensure the teams are compliant with all facility requirements and policies.
The facility coordinator has the responsibility to establish and maintain an effective working relationship with the assigned facility contact person and will ensure facility satisfaction.
Facility coordinators or designee will mentor new visiting teams. Suggestions should be offered to assist the new teams with their visiting skills to ensure their success.
Experienced Mo-Kan teams may be required to shadow before visiting a new facility.
If an incident occurs during a visit, the facility coordinator must be contacted. The coordinator will notify a member of the Mo-Kan Board.
Pet Partner Policies® for reporting and evaluation will apply.