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40 good reasons to volunteer with Pets As Therapy

It’s 2023 and Pets As Therapy is celebrating 40 years of therapeutic visits. Our charity was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish, a dog owner who understood the unique bond between humans and animals – and the joy of volunteering.

Four decades on, and today we’re the largest provider of organised visits by assessed teams in the UK. Over 4,300 registered volunteers take their PAT Pets to a range of establishments, including 1,650 schools, over 1,300 care/residential homes, 450 hospitals and health care settings, 150 mental health facilities and 22 prisons.

Our dedicated PAT Teams give up their spare time to help others, and do so for a number of different reasons. As it’s our 40th anniversary, here we share 40 good reasons to be a PAT volunteer — and there’s many more!

  1. You can cheer up a person who may feel isolated or lonely.
  2. You can help someone to reminisce about a much-loved pet.
  3. You can improve a person’s mood and wellbeing.
  4. You could help someone get through a tough day.
  5. You could give a child the confidence to speak out loud.
  6. You can make others feel that they really do matter.
  7. You could give a much-needed boost to NHS staff.
  8. You could calm nerves at exam time.
  9. You could help someone through the healing process.
  10. You could make a child want to go to school.
  11. You can help reduce someone’s fear of a dog.
  12. You could aid a person’s recovery and rehabilitation.
  13. You could change someone’s life for the better.
  14. You could help reduce stress in a court room.
  15. You could help a young student improve their literacy skills.
  16. You can cheer up a hospital patient missing their dog at home.
  17. You can give something back to an establishment that supported you.
  18. You can make a person feel valued.
  19. You can be a positive form of distraction at a time of worry or grief.
  20. You could provide a mood-busting bundle of fur.
  21. You could take away some of the anxiety about an operation.
  22. You can evoke happy memories of a dementia patient.
  23. You could provide time out form a stressful situation.
  24. You could be the reason why someone chooses to talk.
  25. You can distract someone who is unsure about a medical procedure.
  26. You could be the motivation why someone gets out of bed in the morning.
  27. You can share your pet’s antics and make someone laugh.
  28. You could give a person hope that things will get better.
  29. You can show children how to care for a pet.
  30. You can bring comfort to those who are homesick.
  31. You can offer the unconditional love of a furry friend.
  32. You can show others how to stay safe when near a dog.
  33. You can do wonders for other people’s self-esteem – and your own.
  34. You can meet others in your local community from different walks of life.
  35. You can connect a person to the world around them.
  36. You can improve the mental health of others, and your own wellbeing.
  37. You can be a good excuse to have a treat and enjoy a cup of tea.
  38. You can volunteer and spend time with your wonderful pet – say no more.
  39. You can simply make someone smile.
  40. You could inspire someone to volunteer too.


We are always looking to recruit more volunteers.

You can find more info here


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