here at Pets as Therapy

Welcome to Pets As Therapy

I’m delighted to welcome you to our brand new website.  We are Pets As Therapy, a humanitarian charity with people at our heart. Since our founding in 1983, Pets As Therapy has been at the forefront of community based Animal Assisted Therapy across the length and breadth of the UK. Today, Pets As Therapy is the largest organisation of its kind in Europe enhancing thousands of lives every single day.  What we do is beautiful in its simplicity; our inspiring and dedicated volunteers share their time and their wonderful pets with people in need. So, take a look around, this site is packed with information on the services we provide and life as a volunteer PAT Team.

Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the visits provided by our Volunteer PAT Teams, who visit residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, day care centres and prisons. Volunteers with just a small amount of spare time each week work with their own pets, to bring joy, comfort and companionship to many individuals who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal.

All breeds of cats and dogs can become part of a PAT Team, they must have been with their owner for at least 6 months, be over 9 months of age and be able to pass the temperament assessment.  Regular visits are generally appreciated, although our volunteers agree upon how much time they generously give directly with the establishment they visit. There is no minimum or maximum time commitment although our pets should not work for more than 2 hours at any one time and need regular breaks.

Many children seem naturally comfortable in the presence of dogs. Parents and teachers can use this special relationship to enhance literacy skills and encourage reading in a relaxed environment, with dog and child sitting together. This contact between dog and child encourages physical interaction which helps to put the child at ease. The dog acts as a non-judgemental listener and offers comfort to the child who may find reading difficult or stressful. On average over 6000 children per week, across the country, benefit from this unique experience and the results are outstanding.

A typical visit & assessment process

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