Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Volunteer Opportunities in San Francisco

Welcome to Animal Assisted Therapy!

Here at the San Francisco SPCA our Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Programs started in 1981, making us the oldest program operating within a larger animal welfare organization.  We currently have more than 100 volunteer teams making visits to locations throughout San Francisco.  Working with their own friendly dogs, cats, small animals and birds, our busy volunteers share the human-companion animal bond with more than 60,000 people annually.

The Animal Assisted Therapy department operates the General AAT Program and the Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program (PDT).  Both programs are designed to facilitate communication, healing, and motivation by sharing the love of companion animals with those facing mental, physical or educational challenges. 

The General Program sends volunteer teams to hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, psychiatric facilities, developmentally disabled centers, convalescent homes and youth facilities.  Our teams provide Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and sustained work toward therapeutic goals in conjunction with a health care professional (AAT).

The Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program brings the benefits of the human-companion animal bond to young readers.  We work in San Francisco Public Libraries, San Francisco Unified Schools and local bookstores to improve literacy and engender a love of reading in children whose first language is not English, those with learning disabilities and remedial readers.

All AAT programs rely on outstanding volunteers, pets and facility contacts. If you are interested in getting involved with AAT, please see one of our info pages.

Prospective volunteers: go here.

Prospective facilities: go here.

Thank you for supporting Animal Assisted Therapy.