Certifying Organizations

Please note: TAWNY does not train or certify therapy animals, but the following organizations do! Visit each organizations page for requirements and details of their test.


A local therapy animal program under the Erie County SPCA. Dogs, cats, even pocket pets are encouraged to apply to be tested and certified. Most recently, Paws for Love has a special arrangement for their volunteer dog teams to visit the airport! To learn more, contact Paws for Love Coordinator Debbie Braun, 716-681-0744.

Therapy Dogs International (TDI)

A volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. Established in 1976 in New Jersey, they use local certified TDI testers to achieve certification.

Becky Iannone is one of the TDI evaluators in Western New York - contact her at (716) 772-7398 for information about testing dates. The TDI website has contact information for all the evaluators as well as testing dates.

Pet Partners (formely the Delta Society)

A non-profit organization that brings individuals together who share a common passion - a love of animals and people. Their mission is to help lead the world in advancing human health and well-being through positive interactions with animals. While TDI focuses on therapy dogs, Pet Partners certifies other species as well.

HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (HOPE AACR)

A national all-volunteer, non-profit, crisis response organization with specially trained and certified handler/dog teams who provide comfort and support to people affected by disasters, usually in the recovery phase. Their certified crisis response teams in five regions cover 34 states.  They hold screenings and certification workshops in the Eastern U.S. Check their Events Calendar  for upcoming dates.

Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Therapy Dogs, Inc. provides testing, certification, support, and insurance for members and their dogs. Founded in Cheyenne, WY, they have teams all over the U.S. (as of Feb. 2014 there was one Tester/Observer in Buffalo).

Local Trainers

Local training facilities that also may offer training specific to achieving the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program certificate for dogs, which is a good first step toward therapy dog certification. Begun in 1969, the CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.

Canine Academy

(716) 759-9406

Canine Sports Complex


The Family Companion

(716) 592-0802

Fort Hyde Kennels

(716) 772-2356

Love Your Dog

(716) 636-0440

Sit n'Stay Pet Services

(716) 822-3287








Last updated: 12 October 2020