Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the visits provided by our PAT Volunteer 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.
Each PAT pet has passed a temperament assessment with on or our assessors, which demonstrates if s/he has a suitable temperament to start visits.
We support new PAT Teams and help to introduce them to establishments which are waiting for a visit.
As well as our PAT Teams visiting in the establishments, Pets As Therapy is becoming increasingly involved in structured Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) sessions, through referral by clinical psychologists working with dog phobic patients and with occupational therapists working with patients in stroke rehabilitation.
What is involved in becoming a PAT Team with Pets as Therapy?
All breeds of cats and dogs can potentially 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.
A small annual subscription is payable which goes towards Volunteer’s Liability Insurance.
Each PAT Volunteer is given special ID for themselves and their pet to wear whilst on visits.
About Pets as Therapy
Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983.
We enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. We provide a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK.
Our therapeutic visits:
- Enhance lives in our communities by providing companionship and friendship and help to tackle loneliness.
- Improve the lives of people suffering from debilitating mental and physical health conditions and illnesses such as Autism, Dementia and Stroke by including animal assisted interventions as part of a holistic approach to treatment.
- Improve literacy in children by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading through our Read2Dogs scheme.
To apply to become a PAT Volunteer visit our website