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. All volunteers are submitted to a criminal background check and must have a negative TB test result.  Please visit our FAQ page to learn more about the ASH Pet Pard'ner program before you consider applying.
ASH holds Pet Pard'ner trainings twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. To apply for the next training, please call Community Relations at 512-419-2330 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 Fall 2017 Pet Pard'ner training cycle will begin September 17, 2017: Training cycle dates Fall 2017 Deadline to apply : Aug. 15, 2017