Pet-Assisted Therapy

San Diego Humane Society has been bringing the joy of animals to people for more than thirty years through its Pet-Assisted Therapy (P-AT) Program!

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The Pet-Assisted Therapy program is designed to share animals with people of all ages in care facilities, including convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers,  juvenile detention centers, corporate offices and children’s programs. Volunteers bring rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and dogs to visit people who aren’t able to experience the joys of pet ownership. Our program proudly serves over 20,000 clients each year.

Pet-Assisted Therapy Site Visits

P-AT visits are conducted at care facilities throughout San Diego county.  Due to the popularity of our program, there is a waiting list of approximately 6 months for visits.  Facilities receive monthly visits for a term of 6-12 months.  At the end of this time, a facility may be placed back on the waiting list for future visits. There is a $40 per visit fee, however, this is waived for nonprofit organizations.

Request P-AT visits to your organization

De-Stress Events

We offer one-time P-AT “de-stress” events to corporate and college groups. Organizations have a choice between our P-AT team (a rabbit, dog, guinea pigs and rats),  or dogs only for these events.

Request a de-stress P-AT visit


Adult groups of 15 or less are invited to help socialize rabbits, guinea pigs and fancy rats either in our Education program or available for adoption at the San Diego Campus.  Your volunteering provides them with valuable enrichment during their shelter stay.

This program not only provides a great opportunity for individuals to have hands-on interaction with animals, but also for us to learn more about their personalities helping us place them in the best home possible. Cost: $50

Request a group social hour

YOUR DOG, THE canine ambassador VOLUNTEER

The dogs who participate in our P-AT program have passed a temperament assessment, including exposure to small pets. These Canine Ambassadors and their people (a P-AT volunteer) provide an extra dimension of happiness to clients.

If you are interested in volunteering with your dog in this role:

Review our Canine Ambassador requirements