Therapy Dog Bylaws

Morningstar Therapy Dogs
June 13, 2006
1. Name:

The name of this organization will be “Morningstar Therapy Dogs”, hereafter referred to as MTD.

2. Mission:

The MTD mission is:

To: Provide therapy dog visits to Montrose area nursing homes, hospitals, Hospice, rehabilitation centers and other medical and mental health facilities.

To: Occasionally, if possible, provide monetary and/or non-monetary contributions to the facilities served with therapy dog visits.

To: Cooperate with Montrose area animal welfare organizations in promoting therapy dog programs, animal assisted activities and general animal welfare.

To: Cooperate with local schools and libraries in providing dog assisted reading programs.

3. Accreditations/Certifications

All dogs and handlers participating in MTD sponsored therapy dog visits must be accredited/certified by Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs Inc., the Delta Society, Intermountain Therapy Dogs, or another nationally recognized therapy dog program and follow their program’s recommended practices during visits. Participation in MTD sponsored activities that are not classified as therapy dog visits, such as parades and fundraisers, will not require accreditation/certification.

At the local level, MTD will be affiliated with the Morningstar Veterinary Clinic (Morningstar).

MTD members and their dogs engaged in any MTD sponsored event will conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on both their accrediting program and Morningstar.

4. Not for Profit Operations:

The MTD will operate on a not for profit basis and will pursue 501C3 status.

5. Membership:

MTD membership is open only to accredited/certified handlers with dogs. There will be no membership requirement other than accreditation or certification by a nationally recognized therapy dog program and an expressed desire to participate with the MTD in accomplishing its mission. All members will have voting status and may be MTD officers.

Members must attend six (6) MTD meetings or functions and make twelve (12) therapy visits annually to maintain their membership.

Any MTD member who loses a dog through death, whose dog develops a condition that makes it unable to participate in therapy visits, or whose dog retires from therapy dog activities, will retain their membership, provided they meet the foregoing requirement regarding meeting attendance and retain their membership in a nationally recognized therapy dog program. Should extenuating circumstances exist that are not addressed in these bylaws, any MTD member may request a waiver of these membership requirements. Such waiver may be granted by a majority vote of the membership providing a quorum is present.

All members with dogs will be provided a yellow vest for their dog indicating their membership in the MTD. Members who stop making therapy visits due to the death or retirement of their dog may keep their vest. Members quitting the MTD for other reasons will return their vest.

Individuals without dogs may participate with the MTD as Affiliate Members but will not have voting status or be allowed to be officers.

6. Dues:

Membership in the MTD requires the payment of no dues.

7. Officers:

The MTD will annually elect the following officers:

President: The President will conduct meetings and be one of the two required signatures for the MTD checking account. If the President is unable to conduct a meeting the Secretary or Treasurer will do so. The President will provide overall leadership of the MTD and delegate additional duties to MTD Officers as needed.
Secretary: The Secretary will keep and distribute the meeting minutes. The Secretary will also keep track of the number of visits provided, meetings attended, and activity participation by each member.

Treasurer: The Treasurer will monitor and report the status of the MTD checking account at each meeting, including income, expenses, and balance. The Treasurer’s signature will be one of the two authorized signatures for the MTD checking account.

Community Liaison Officer: The Community Liaison Officer will coordinate and schedule therapy dog visits with nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, medical and mental health facilities, schools and libraries. The Community Liaison Officer will coordinate with the Projects Officer in developing additional animal assisted activities within the community, including reading programs and once established will coordinate and schedule these activities.

Publicity Officer: The publicity Officer will provide news releases that describe MTD activities to local print and electronic media.

Activities Officer: The Activities Officer will coordinate non-therapy activities such as fundraisers, appearances and parades.

Membership Officer: The Membership Officer will recruit new members in an effort to meet the membership goal. The membership Officer will maintain the membership roster and contact list.

Projects Officer: The Projects Officer will be a source of information on different types of animal assisted activities that might be provided by the MTD. The Projects Officer will take the lead responsibility in identifying these activities but will coordinate with the Community Liaison Officer to schedule activities with the organizations desiring these activities, and coordinate any certification needed to provide these activities.

Elections will occur at the December meeting. Officers will serve for one year from January to December. One person may hold more than one office.

Any MTD member may propose the recall of an officer by making a motion to that effect. A second to the motion will be required. The proposed recall will be voted upon at the MTD meeting following the meeting at which recall motion is made. Provided that a quorum is present, the motion will be carried by a simple majority vote.

8. Meetings:

The MTD will have regularly scheduled meetings on the second Tuesday of the month. Meetings may be canceled, rescheduled, or additional meetings called by the President or by simple majority vote of the members present at a regular meeting.

9. Finances:

The President and the Treasurer are authorized to establish a MTD Checking account at a local financial institution. Checks written on this account will require the Treasurer’s signature or the signature of the president.

Approval to make expenditures from this account will be made by simple majority vote of the members present at any MTD meeting.

Morningstar will contribute the veterinary initial examination required to register with the accrediting organization and in addition will contribute the annual renewal health checks for MTD members who have completed at least twelve (12) documented visits.

MTD member are not required to use the services of Morningstar and may visit any veterinary of their choice.

10. Training:

Obedience training is the responsibility of the individual prospective member.

The Team may conduct practice sessions or practice tests in order to prepare prospective MTD members for Canine Good Citizen and accreditation testing.

11. Conduct of Meetings:

The President will prepare and distribute an agenda for each meeting.

Motions and seconds will be required for all questions put to the membership.

A simple majority of the voting members present will decide a question, provided that a quorum is present.

A quorum will consist of more than 50% of the voting members. A voting member unable to attend a meeting may be represented by a proxy if the proxy is designated in writing. Any written proxy designation must specify for which meeting or meetings the designation is being made. Proxies will count toward the achieving of a quorum.

12. Bylaw Adoption and Revision

These Bylaws will be adopted by simple majority vote at a meeting following their introduction. A quorum will be needed. The President shall designate the meeting at which the adoption of these Bylaws will be voted upon. Subsequent changes to these bylaws may be made by simple majority vote at the meeting following the introduction of such changes, provided that a quorum is present.
Date introduced: March 14, 2006
Revision introduce: May 9, 2006

Date adopted: April 11, 2006
Date revised: June13, 2006

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