San Francisco SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Program

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animals Helping People.

For more than 40 years, the San Francisco SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program has facilitated communication and healing by sharing the love of companion animals with those facing mental, physical, or educational challenges.  

Feature Programs​

San Francisco SPCA Wag Brigade volunteer program

Wag Brigade

Our animal ambassadors ease the stress of air travel at San Francisco International Airport. One of our dogs, a pig, or a rabbit visits a terminal every day of the week.

Puppy Dog Tales

Our team visits children with reading challenges in schools, libraries, and clubs throughout San Francisco, to share literacy and a love of reading in a positive, non-judgmental space.

San Francisco SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy volunteer program

Therapy Visits

AAT Volunteers visit hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities, and youth facilities to share the therapeutic benefits of the human-companion animal bond.

Please note: Our AAT Teams are not available for non-therapy-related conferences or special events.

Become an AAT Volunteer

We’re looking for pets and guardian teams to join the AAT program. Teams are required to complete an evaluation and certification program that prepares them to work in the community. 

Pet & Guardian Requirements:


  • Minimum one year of age and in current home for a minimum of six months
  • Calm and approachable
  • Must be spayed or neutered
  • NO signs of aggression (growling, biting)
  • Raw protein diets not allowed
  • Positive-reinforcement obedience training (complete one course)


  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • One-year minimum commitment
  • Know your pet’s stress signals
  • Handle pet with a flat collar or harness leash
  • NO aversive equipment—prong, shock, or choke collars

If you meet the requirements listed above, please submit your application for consideration.

Meet Our Team

Please contact the AAT department at (415) 554-3060 or email if you have questions about volunteering or the program.