Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S4802/A6601) to identify and develop new training standards for therapy dogs. This legislation will establish new guidelines for therapy dog handlers and facilities in assessment, training, risk management and animal welfare. These new standards will ensure New York's therapy dogs are as prepared as possible to serve those in need.
"Therapy dogs provide an incredible service to those in need and should be trained to the highest possible standards," Governor Cuomo said. "This legislation will establish best practices for New York's therapy dogs so that they can provide the best possible attention and care to New Yorkers who rely on them every day."
Senator Monica R. Martinez said, "I strongly believe in the importance of creating and enforcing standards and regulations for the licensing, training and handling of therapy dogs. Therapy dogs play a vital role in helping people and have shown to have a positive emotional effect on those they visit. They are trained to respond positively to others and their surrounding environment under the guidance and direction of their handler. I am confident, with this legislation, we can create a positive experience for everyone including our therapy dogs. I applaud the Governor for seeing the importance our Therapy Dogs play on the lives of others."
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo said, "Therapy dogs positively affect the emotional well-being of people they visit in schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and other places. Guidelines will now be available regarding the definition, training, handling and use of these dogs. I'd like to thank the Governor for recognizing how valuable these dogs are for so many New Yorkers."