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Become a

Do you want to volunteer with your awesome dog?

We're calling for more teams in Michigan!

Parents, relatives, teach
ers and staff, retirees, and passionate community members.

What you need: 

A good heart, a couple of hours a week, and a well-trained dog.


What kind of dog:

Any breed, as long as they’re even-tempered, good-natured, and enjoy being around kids.


What kind of skills:

Basic obedience, such as sit, down, loose-leash walking, remain in a down/stay, leave it, and recall.

Buddy’s Pals test all dogs and handlers as a team. Dogs must first pass a Temperament Assessment and after they pass, the dog will need to complete a prep class in order to become certified.


See our classes page for more information

The process for becoming certified

1st Step

Dogs must first pass a Temperament Assessment administered by Buddy’s PALS or an independent evaluator who may charge a small fee.

3rd Step

After completing the prep class, your dog will take a required test, and upon passing will be certified for Buddy’s PALS!

2nd Step

Once the dog passes the initial evaluation, they will need to complete a prep class, held through Annabelle's Canine Station or Click! Pawsitive

4th Step

The final step is to register on Volunteer Hub. Your Buddy’s PALS volunteer shirt and your dog's bandana are free!

Handler Erica Stoll and her brindled

Boxer dog Stella 

Buddy’s PALS since December 2021.

“The event that impacted me most as a handler was the tragedy at MSU. Stella was one of the first PALS at the Hannah Center, and the number of students in need was overwhelming. When we were finally assigned an area, there were no students present, and she was giving support to some of the mental health professionals. Suddenly, Stella stops, looks at me, and starts walking away to the opposite end of the hallway where a student was being escorted by mental health staff. Stella and I walked to the student, and I asked if she would like to pet Stella. The student got down on her knees and just cried while hugging Stella, who in return did her famous ‘lean’ into the student, which is the same as a hug and saying, ‘I’ve got you.’

Handler Ali Hauser and her dog Dixie


Buddy’s PALS for over two years. Dixie’s breed is Golden Newfie – a golden retriever and a Newfoundland mix.

“Dixie absolutely loves her job. She gets so excited when she sees her bandana and knows she gets to go to school. The kids light up when they see her, too. The highlight of being a part of Buddy’s PALS is bringing joy to people’s faces – both kids and adults! It’s amazing how a dog cheers someone up when they’re having a bad day.”

Current Handlers

Please view and sign up for available opportunities below.

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