Animal Samaritans

Animal Assisted Therapy


Animal Samaritans' Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a volunteer program that provides visits to area schools, nursing homes, assisted living centers, Juvenile Hall, and local hospitals at no cost to the community.  While visiting these facilities, AAT members and their companion dogs (and cats) offer people the experience of touching, petting, playing with, and receiving the unconditional affection and friendship of a pet.

For program liability purposes, AAT volunteers are required to be members of Animal Samaritans SPCA; an annual membership costs as little as $25.  Also, AAT dogs need their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificates from the American Kennel Club (AKC) before entering the program.  Animal Samaritans can assist pet owners with information on how to obtain this certificate.

Finally, Animal Samaritans works with local animal trainers to assess whether or not an animal is suited for the AAT program.  We hold free AAT behavior testing sessions throughout the year for pet owners and their potential AAT dogs and cats.  

About AAT Behavior Testing: Does your dog tug or pull on his leash?  Is he easily startled by loud noises or sudden movements? How does he respond to rough petting? How does he behave around other dogs? It is essential that AAT dogs are well-suited for the program. Animals that do not pass their first behavior test, are commonly invited to return for a second test.  Again, there is no fee for the testing.

To learn more about Animal Samaritans' AAT program, including our next testing date, please call 760-601-3755.