Animals ease loneliness, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, promote social interaction, encourage exercise and playfulness, and provide unconditional love and affection. Our Austin State Hospital (ASH) Pet Pardner's Program is a network of trained dogs that visit our clients on a regular basis and provide companionship. Pet Pard'ners is a 7-week, no cost training program that prepares dogs and their handlers for volunteer visits with clients who are receiving treatment for their mental illness at ASH. Dogs enrolled in Pet Pard'ners will become eligible for a current AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification and will be tested on site at Austin State Hospital by a certified dog trainer. Please check out our FAQ page to learn more about the ASH Pet Pard'ner program before you consider applying. img_4557ASH holds Pet Pard'ner trainings twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. To apply for the next training, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 512-419-2323 for an application and a dog applicant screening questionnaire. Class size is limited and applicants are considered on a "first come, first serve" basis. The Spring 2017 Pet Pard'ner training cycle will begin February 11, 2017: Spring 2017 Training Cycle Schedule Apply by : January 24, 2017 ***If class is not full, application deadline will extend to Jan. 27