An Affiliate of the Delta SocietyŇ


·   Animal Ambassador Teams Visiting Health Care Facilities

·   StoryTails Reading Program in local schools

·   Human-Animal Bond Educational Presentations



P.O.Box 460757  ·  San Antonio, Texas 78246  ·  210-614-6734




Animal Ambassador Program


Bringing People and Animals Together for Healing.



Thank you for your interest in Delta San Antonio and our community service programs. Enclosed are the materials you requested. If you would like more information, please call Delta San Antonio at (210) 614-6734.


The national Delta Society® is a nonprofit organization formed in 1977 with headquarters in Renton, WA. The Delta Society has created a powerful network for pet owners, volunteers, people in health care, administrators, and scientists who believe the nurturing contact with animals and nature results in healthier people and communities. The Delta Society is committed to educational and community service programs to make this belief a reality.


The national Delta Society’s mission is to improve human health through service and therapy animals. The Delta Society does this in several ways: expansion of public awareness on the positive effects animals have on human health and development; removal of barriers that prevent the integration of animals in daily life; and the development of the therapeutic role of animals in human health, service and education.  The Delta Society’s major program areas are: (1) the Animal-assisted Activities and Therapy Education System (AATES) and (2) the Service Dog Education System (SDES).


Local affiliates, such as Delta San Antonio, help to improve the lives and health of children, adults, the elderly and the disabled through animal-assisted activities and therapy. Delta San Antonio also provides other community services including grief support for pet owners and educational outreach presentations.





Procedures for Becoming a

Delta San Antonio

Animal Ambassador Volunteer




The national Delta Society® registers volunteers and their animals through the Pet Partners Program®. Delta San Antonio Pet Partner teams are referred to as Animal Ambassadors. (A "team" consists of a volunteer and his or her animal.) The national Delta Society trains and licenses instructors and team evaluators to instruct, evaluate, and register the Animal Ambassador volunteers locally.


The procedures for becoming a registered Delta San Antonio Animal Ambassador are:

 (1) The potential volunteer requests information about the program.


 (2) The potential volunteer is contacted by phone and given an overview of the program and an opportunity to ask questions.


 (3) The potential volunteer receives an information packet by mail which includes an application form. He or she returns the completed application to Delta San Antonio, along with the payment for the membership dues and the fees for training and evaluation.


 (4) The potential volunteer is scheduled to attend a one-day, eight-hour training course which includes effective and appropriate interaction with persons in health care settings. The course is conducted by Delta San Antonio instructors (trained and licensed by national Delta), and the volunteer attends without his or her animal.


(5) The potential volunteer's animal must receive a health screening exam from its veterinarian which includes verification that vaccinations are current. The form for this screening is provided in the course training manual.


(6) During the training course, Delta San Antonio schedules an evaluation of the potential Animal Ambassador team. Both skills and aptitude are evaluated. A description of this evaluation is included in this information packet.  This evaluation is performed by Delta San Antonio evaluators (trained and licensed by national Delta) and takes 30 – 45 minutes to complete.


 (7) Upon the successful completion of the Animal Ambassador team evaluation, Delta San Antonio submits the completed registration forms to the national Delta Society.


 (8) The new volunteer (without the animal) visits at least two health care facilities with an experienced Animal Ambassador team. These mentoring visits are to reaffirm the volunteer's interest in the program and to determine his or her preference for type of facility.


 (9) Delta San Antonio assists the new Animal Ambassador team in selecting a health care facility from our waiting list. Each facility on this list has requested a team and has undergone an on-site assessment by Delta San Antonio. After Delta San Antonio has linked the volunteer with a facility, the volunteer arranges an initial visit to preview the facility and determine a regular visiting schedule. The animal is not taken on the initial visit.  


(10) The new Animal Ambassador team receives official notification of their registration from national Delta. Liability insurance coverage is activated upon official registration. The new team contacts the facility and begins visiting on the schedule set in the initial visit.


(11) The new Animal Ambassador team visits their facility on a regular schedule and submits visit reports for each visit to Delta San Antonio.  Volunteers are requested to commit to the program for a minimum of two years.


(12) Animal Ambassador teams are required to be reevaluated and registered every two years. This includes another health screening exam from a veterinarian for the animal and another scheduled evaluation of the team (both skills and aptitude are reevaluated).  Reevaluation of an Animal Ambassador team will be performed if the team is actively visiting and documenting their visits with Delta San Antonio.





Pet Partners Evaluation  -- Part 1

The Skills Test



The Delta Society Pet Partners Skills Test (PPST) is designed to test basic good behavior skills, of both the animals and their handlers.  The PPST is also used for screening cats and other animals although these animals do not perform all the test items in the same way.



(1)  Review of the Handler’s Questionnaire


This exercise allows the evaluator to ask questions about the team that may alert the evaluator to circumstances that may affect the evaluation. The team is also allowed to familiarize itself with the testing area.

(2)  Accepting a Friendly Stranger



This exercise demonstrates that the team can greet strangers appropriately.

(3)  Accepting Petting


This exercise demonstrates that the team has suitable social skills and control for visits.

(4)  Appearance and Grooming


This exercise demonstrates:

  • The team's appearance is suitable for visits.
  • The animal welcomes being groomed and examined and permits a stranger to do so.
  • The handler's care, concern, and responsibility.

(5)  Out For a Walk (All Dogs Must Walk on the Floor)



This exercise demonstrates that the handler is in control of the animal and the animal is comfortable moving with the handler.

(6)  Walking Through a Crowd


This exercise simulates a crowded corridor and demonstrates that the team can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and under control in public places.





Pet Partners Evaluation  -- Part 1  -- The Skills Test




(7)  Reaction to Distractions



This exercise demonstrates that the animal remains confident when faced with common distracting situations.




(8-10)  Sit on Command, Down on Command, and Stay in Place (Dogs)




These exercises demonstrate that the dog has training and will sit, lie down, and stay at the handler's command.

(8-10)  Sit on Command, Down on Command, and Stay in Place  (Other Animals)


These exercises demonstrate that animals other than dogs will accept being passed from one person to another and remain where placed.

(11)  Come When Called




This exercise is for dogs only. This test demonstrates that the dog will leave pleasant distractions to come to the handler and allow the handler to attach a leash. (Very small dogs that have been carried during other parts of the evaluation must complete this exercise on the floor.)


(12)  Reaction to a Neutral Dog




This exercise demonstrates:

  • The animal can behave politely around an approaching dog.
  • The handler is aware of the animal's potential response to a dog and can help the animal succeed.
  • The handler can be polite and friendly to a stranger.






Pet Partners Evaluation  -- Part 2

The Aptitude Test


The Delta Society Pet Partners Aptitude Test (PPAT) determines if you and your animal have the ability, capacity, desire, and potential for participating in animal-assisted activities (AAA) and animal-assisted therapy (AAT) programs.


(A)  Overall Exam




This exercise demonstrates:

  • The animal will accept and is comfortable being examined by a stranger.
  • The handler knows how to present the animal on a visit and how to help the animal accept and welcome being touched all over.

(B) Exuberant and Clumsy Petting




This exercise demonstrates:

  • The animal will maintain self-control and will tolerate clumsy petting by people who have differing physical abilities or who do not know proper etiquette around the animal.
  • The handler can work with the animal to help it tolerate such attention.

(C )  Restraining Hug


This exercise demonstrates that the animal will accept or welcome restraint and that the handler can assist the animal to accept or welcome such a situation.

(D)  Staggering, Gesturing Individual



This exercise demonstrates:

  • The animal will exhibit confidence when a person acting in an unusual manner approaches and then interacts with it.
  • The handler has the social skills to interact with such a person while attending to the animal.

(E)  Angry Yelling



This exercise demonstrates that the animal will not be upset when someone exhibits angry emotions and that the handler can help the animal tolerate such a situation.

(F)  Bumped from Behind


This exercise demonstrates that the animal is able to recover when a person bumps into it and that the handler can not only tolerate the animal being bumped, but can also assist the animal to recover.




Pet Partners Evaluation  -- Part 2  -- The Aptitude Test




(G)  Crowded and Petted by Several People


This exercise demonstrates:

  • The animal will tolerate crowding and petting by several people at once.
  • The handler has the social skills to visit with a group of people while still attending to the animal and maintaining its well being.

(H)  Leave It




This exercise demonstrates the animal will ignore a toy left on the floor.

(I) Offered a Treat




This exercise demonstrates the animal will take a treat politely and gently.

(J)  Overall Assessment


This item determines that the handler is proactive, not reactive or inactive, in the handling and management of his/her animal.