history, mission and values

Carole Millie Pets As Therapy

About Pets As Therapy


Pets As Therapy is a national UK charity that was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish, a dog owner and passionate volunteer who understood the amazing bond between humans and animals.

Today, Pets As Therapy has over 6,000 visiting volunteers — and welcomes anyone who wants to discover the joy of volunteering. We strive to enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of dedicated volunteers with their temperament-assessed pets. We provide a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools, prisons and a variety of other establishments across the UK.

Our therapeutic visits:

  • Enhance lives in our communities by providing companionship and friendship.
  • Improve the lives of people living with mental and physical health conditions and illnesses, including autism, dementia and stroke.
  • Improve literacy in young people by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading.

Our values


PASSIONATE: We are passionate about the work we do, the people we do it for and the animals we do it with.
ACCOUNTABLE: We take personal responsibility for using our resources efficiently, achieving measurable results and being accountable to our sponsors, volunteers, service users and the Charity Commission.
PRINCIPLED: We are committed to the highest standards of personal honesty and behaviour, never compromising our reputation and always acting in the best interests of the Charity.
INCLUSIVE: We all work together positively, collectively focused on achieving our vision. We welcome diversity and believe everyone has a valuable contribution to make, regardless of visible and invisible differences.
AMBITIOUS: We are determined to fully explore the potential of Pets as Therapy for people across the UK, constantly developing new and creative ways to deliver our Vision and Mission.

Our vision

To ensure that everyone in the UK, no matter their circumstances, has access to the companionship of an animal.

What our establishments say

“Joyce, along with her delightful Pets As Therapy dog Indie, has been visiting patients on the Stroke Unit at the Princess Royal University Hospital for over three years.  They call into the Unit every Wednesday and brighten everyone’s day.  They are a professional, compassionate and dedicated duo and have made an outstanding contribution to the recuperation of extremely ill patients.  Joyce and Indie’s attendance has become a highlight of the week for both patients and staff on the Unit and their tireless service to the Trust is greatly appreciated.”

Princess Royal University Hospital

“For many residents, Esther’s visits are something to look forward to in the week and really do brighten up their day. A member of staff explained that one resident is often reluctant to engage with staff and can be non-communicative, but that when Esther visits she is much happier, chats with staff and other residents and has her mood boosted for several days. The wife of another resident described how Esther’s visits ‘bring a smile to everyone’s face. She really is a Super-dog!’.”

Dementia Friendly Communities – Kent County Council