Pet Assisted Therapy

Pets make us laugh, they ease our troubles and enrich our lives. Research shows pets are good for us both physically and emotionally. During a visit from therapy animals, patients can disconnect from their illness and feel happy and hopeful even if only for a short time.

Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) teams are a special group of volunteers who recognize that their pets have something to offer and want to share them with others within the community. Pet Assisted Therapy helps patients to aid recovery from health problems or to help people cope with certain medical conditions. Many medical providers support Pet Assisted Therapy and believe it has several benefits such as helping with personal and social development, increased self-esteem, improved mental health, bettering social skills and can help reduce stress and blood pressure.

For more information, email

Watch the video below to learn what it takes to join the PAT team at RCHS!

How Can My Dog Participate?

To get involved you need a friendly dog that’s any breed or mix, be at least one-year old, altered and have an up-to-date veterinary exam. You will need:

  • Canine Good Citizen certificate
  • A PAT evaluation administered by RCHS trainers.

Dogs must meet these basic requirements:

  • Outgoing and friendly with all people
  • Friendly with other dogs
  • Ignores all small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, rats)
  • Not be shy or scared of new situations
  • Be spayed or neutered
  • Be at least one year old
  • Up to date on vaccinations
  • Must complete an annual health check

To get started email

What Facilities Does PAT Visit?

Some of facilities that our PAT program visits are as follows:

  • Schools and Libraries
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Senior Centers
  • Hospice Facilities
  • Corporate Offices
  • Mental Health Centers
  • Children’s Programs
  • Veteran Centers

If you have a facility that would like to participate, please submit a Facility Request form.

How Does My Corporate Office Participate?

There are many benefits to bringing therapy animals to the workplace including reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and boosting employee morale. Studies have shown that animals in the workplace often lead to more productive and happier employees and more effective collaboration.  Offices will have a choice between using our PAT certified therapy dogs or adoptable kittens/puppies who need socialization prior to adoption.

Is there a cost to participate?

We ask any office that participates make a minimum donation of $35 toward our PAT program.