WHAT WE DO
here at Pets as Therapy
Welcome to Pets As Therapy
Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the therapeutic visits provided by our PAT Volunteer Teams. These visiting volunteers work with their own pets to bring companionship and joy to those in need, individuals who appreciate being able to see, touch and stroke a friendly animal.
As a Pets As Therapy Volunteer, you also have the opportunity to be part of an exciting volunteering group who are making a difference to the lives of people in their local community. What’s more, you do all this with your much-loved pet.
Our volunteers visit a range of establishments, including residential homes, day care centres, schools, universities, hospitals, hospices and prisons. Volunteers and their pets bring comfort to people who may feel isolated, confused and lonely. They play an important role in patients’ recovery and rehabilitation. And they help young people to improve their literacy skills and encourage confidence and concentration. It is the aim of Pets As Therapy to ensure that everyone in the UK, no matter their circumstances, has access to the companionship of an animal.
Our PAT Dogs are all shapes and sizes — and no special training or qualifications are required. All that’s necessary is that a pet has a friendly, calm nature and a lot of love to share. Pets must be aged over nine months, lived with their owner for at least six months and be able to pass our temperament assessment.
Pets As Therapy’s Read2Dogs scheme is supported by the Bark and Read Foundation, set
up by the Kennel Club to support and promote the work of charities that take dogs into schools. Many young people seem naturally comfortable in the presence of dogs, so parents and teachers can use this special relationship to enhance literacy skills and encourage reading in a relaxed environment. PAT Dogs are non-judgemental and great listeners, and can boost a child’s motivation and morale.
Pets As Therapy has recently launched a new Virtual Read2Dogs scheme, which is receiving support from The National Lottery Community Fund. Using online technology, volunteers and their PAT Pets can now work with schools from their home.