Many people will at some point in their life spend time isolated from families and friends in hospitals and nursing homes.
We believe that through the Outreach Therapy Pets programme we can help alleviate the loneliness that might come with being institutionalised, and that regular visits of an animal can make a big difference to people’s physical and emotional health.
All our volunteers receive training to ensure the Outreach Therapy Pets programme is well received, wherever our volunteers go.
Animal Assisted Activities may include visiting aged-care facilities to chat and spend a few minutes with each resident. Among other activities, we have offered animal mornings at rest homes, visited groups who work with youth with disabilities, and given SPCA community presentations with Outreach Pets present.
Animal Assisted Therapy is goal-orientated. The volunteer and their animal work with an occupational therapist or activities co-ordinator to help clients achieve specific goals which are recorded. This can include walking a dog to help recover from leg surgery or brushing an animal to improve range of motion in a client’s arm
At the moment the majority of visits are completed by dogs but cats are welcome, too.