Welcome to Pets as Therapy

PAT is a community-based, voluntary outreach organisation that coordinates animal assisted activities in a range of settings. 

PAT organises for animal guardians and their animal companions (mainly dogs) to visit people in hospices, retirement homes, frail care facilities, special needs schools, residential centres, and a variety of other venues.  PAT visits bring company, support, comfort, pleasure, stress relief, and stimulation to those living either permanently or temporarily in these and other establishments.

There is a fortune of scientific evidence showing that the interaction between humans and other animals is therapeutic – physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially.

PAT visits bring company, support, comfort, pleasure, stress relief and stimulation to those living either permanently or temporarily in these and other establishments. 

  • Visiting with animals can help people feel less lonely, and less depressed.
  • Visits from pets can provide a welcome change from routine, or the renewal of old friendships.
  • People become more active and responsive both during and after visiting with animals. 
  • An animal visit can offer entertainment or a welcome distraction from pain and infirmity.
  • People often talk to the visiting pets, and share with them their thoughts and feelings and memories.
  • Animal visits provide something to look forward to.
  • Stroking a dog or cat can reduce a person’s blood pressure, and petting encourages use of hands and arms, stretching and turning.

Pets as Therapy also offers the Lees-Ukufunda-Read programme. This additional programme is for all existing PAT members who wish to assist children, at Grade 3 level, to improve their reading skills. This programme can take place in a school or library.

During these visits, children sit and read a book to the animal companion without fear of judgment.  PAT members need to attend an additional workshop, pass an open book test and be registered with R.E.A.D. in the USA to become part of this programme.