STAAR is the leading conference in the field of canine rehabilitation and physical therapies. It is made up of a variety of interactive, rehab-centered workshops, and is attended by veterinary rehabilitation professionals worldwide. Classes are small in size and taught by leaders and pioneers in the field of veterinary rehabilitation and physical therapy. In order to optimize learning, STAAR incorporates lecture and interactive hands-on, practical labs using dog volunteers. These volunteers and their handlers are pivotal to the success of STAAR as the veterinary professionals witness and practice techniques on the dogs. Our veterinary participants benefit greatly from being able to work with your dog(s), and this experience helps to make them better clinicians. 

As a volunteer, you and your dog will be surrounded by some of the best veterinarians and physical therapists with advanced training in rehabilitative medicine as they perform their hands-on techniques in a variety of workshops.

Since 2010, STAAR has offered workshops in massage therapy, physical therapy assessment, therapeutic exercise and conditioning, gait analysis, neurological rehabilitation, spinal issues, orthotic devices, aquatic therapy, myofascial techniques, and much, much more!

STAAR instructors and participants take a very personal approach to the care of your animals, and it goes without saying that the dogs are not harmed in any way. Dogs must be comfortable in the presence of people and other dogs, and with being examined by qualified professionals who will assess tenderness, pain, muscle atrophy and muscle spasms. Dogs must also be comfortable having their paws handled, as they may be guided through controlled movements of all limbs to assess range of motion, tightness or discomfort.  

Dog volunteers must be at least nine months old. Healthy pups, as well as those with medical issues of any kind, are invaluable for the learning experience at STAAR; Although instructors may request dogs of a certain size and with certain health issues for specific workshops. The amount of time you can volunteer is up to you and most importantly, to your dog, and how much he/she is able to handle. All of our classrooms are fully carpeted and have water bowls and treats, and there is a nice outdoor area where you can walk your dog. Light snacks will be provided throughout the day for pet parents. No volunteers under the age of 18 allowed. Lastly, no substitutions are allowed. Please do not show up with a dog that has not been previously approved by the STAAR Committee.

If you are interested in volunteering with your dog at STAAR, contact Jill Fox at


View the slideshow below to see more of our amazing dog volunteers!

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