What Are The Procedures For Becoming A H.A.B.I.T. Volunteer?

  1. Attend a General Information Meeting
  2. Submit an Application Form & Membership Dues
  3. Have Animal(s) Medically & Behaviorally Screened.
  4. After the Behavioral Evaluation, A Volunteer Coordinator Will Contact You
  5. Observe an experienced volunteer with their animal during a scheduled visit.
  6. Visit a designated facility for an orientation tour and discussion with facility contact person.
  7. Be observed with your animal by an experienced volunteer.

Sample HABIT Forms

1. Attend a General Information Meeting

All potential volunteers are required to attend a General Information Meeting

To be notified of our next meeting please contact us at:

Tel:  (865) 974-5633 OR
Email: habit@utk.edu

2. Application and Membership Dues

To become a member please print-out and send a completed application along with a cheque for $15 membership dues.

Interested in becoming a member, but not sure about volunteering?

You are welcome to remain on our mailing list as a HABIT friend. However, you must still submit an application and pay dues.

You will be notified of any special programs or activities sponsored by HABIT. You would be welcome to complete the steps toward volunteer status at any time or just remain a "friend"

Informal meetings of volunteers and friends of HABIT are arranged periodically. These are times for sharing experiences and often includes a speaker. Recent speakers have provided tips on grooming and obedience training.

3. Have Animal(s) Medically and Behaviorally Screened

If you have a pet of your own that you would like to take on visits, there is a place on the application for information about your pet. However, pets must be medically and behaviorally screened before they can visit.

Medical Evaluation Form

Copies of this form are available at the General Information Meeting or can be mailed to you from the HABIT Office.

This form is usually completed from your vet's records if your pet has been seen in the last 3-months. (It is the owner's responsibility to get the application to your vet as well as submit the form to the HABIT office)

If you have more than one pet you would like evaluated, the Medical Evaluation Form can be copied. Each pet needs their own form. A cover letter to your veterinarian is available to explain the program in case he/she is not familiar with HABIT.

If it has been longer than that, or if your pet is not up to date on its shots, a visit to your vet will be necessary.

Behavioral Profile And History Form

(the Behavioral Evaluation starts with this form)

Both the Medical Evaluation and Behavioral Profile & History forms must be on file before an actual behavioral evaluation can be done.

The Behavioral Evaluation

If you would like to be a HABIT Volunteer, but do not have a pet, or don't have an appropriate pet, a few animals are available for loan. Special arrangements must be made to use these animals, and the volunteer is responsible for picking up the pet and returning it. All these animals have been medically and behaviorally screened.

Contact the HABIT office for more information on loaner animals.

4. After Completing the Behavioral Evaluation, You Will Be Contacted By A Volunteer Coordinator

The Volunteer Coordinator will discuss with you the various ongoing programs and arrange a time for you to visit a facility.

5. Observe an Experienced Volunteer with the Animal During A Scheduled Visit

Do not bring your animal to the observation. Arrangements will be made by HABIT.

(Steps 5. and 6. may be done at the same time.)

6. Visit a Designated Facility For An Orientation Tour & Discussion With Facility Contact Person

This visit is done without a pet and will give you the opportunity to meet staff and take an tour of the facility.

(Steps 5. and 6. may be done at the same time.)

7. Be Observed With Your Pet By An Experienced Volunteer

After your pet has completed the screening, it can make its first visit with you under the supervision of an experienced volunteer. This first visit should be a short one. The main purpose of the formal screening is to help assure your pet is healthy and safe. However, the real test is when the pet visits the facility. It is important to see how the pet reacts in a strange environment. We want the visit to be a positive experience for the volunteer and the pet. Be aware that some pets are just too stressed by visits and cannot continue to visit for their own good. Your HABIT representative may accompany you on additional visits if they feel it would be helpful.

Please realize that you and your animal will be accepted as HABIT volunteers only after all steps are taken and positively evaluated. We also appreciate your patience in realizing that HABIT is administered by volunteers. We will evaluate your animals and work with you on placement as soon as possible.

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