The aroha (love) of our animal friends give us just what the doctor ordered.

Our popular programme brings loving pets to healthcare facilities and classrooms around the motu (country).

Health experts have long known the wonderful benefits we get from the aroha of our animal friends. The aroha of an animal can reduce stress and put a smile on everyone's faces. They give comfort to people who are very sick or lonely, or even children with learning needs. Sometimes it can even help with physical pain.Primary school student ready with a dog

How we help

Our caring volunteers share their furry friends with people across the motu.

In healthcare facilities

Our Therapy Pets visit hospitals, rehabilitation units and care homes.

At school

Therapy Pets can be a huge help for students of all ages.

In community centres and libraries

Therapy Pets can help groups with their reading programmes.


How we help your community

Photo of a dog with an outreach staff member

Rest homes

Regular visits from a four-legged friend can make a big difference to the wellbeing of residents.

Animals just want to be with people. The aroha, affection, and friendship they bring reduces the stress and fear that can come with illness or age.

Photo of a dog in front of a Summerset Retirement Village

Working with Summerset to bring more joy

Therapy Pets is growing thanks to Summerset Retirement Villages - our official sponsor.

Thanks to this partnership, our furry friends can make a joyful, difference to more people in need and Summerset's residents love Therapy Pets too!

young boy with therapy pet dog in the library

READ programme in schools

Therapy Pets also has the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) programme for schools.

Reading to a dog is a lot less scary than reading to a human, and the dogs love it too! Close contact with a dog helps children to relax and focus on their learning.

We'd love you and your pet to volunteer

volunteers with therapy pets

If you have a pet with a gentle nature and would like to share that love with others in your community, please email us. Our team will meet your special pet first to make sure they'll enjoy the experience too.

All volunteers and their furry friends commit to at least one visit per week in their area.

 Find out more about volunteering


How safe and clean is it?

Safety and hygiene, particularly in hospitals, is very important. Our pets are clean, fully vaccinated and chosen for their good nature by our assessor.

What’s the history of Therapy Pets in NZ?

Therapy Pets was first introduced in 1988 by Iris and Bob Kerridge (SPCA), after they were inspired by a similar programme in San Francisco, and saw the potential.

In 2003 SPCA joined us to grow the service around Auckland and then across the country. Today, we fully own and operate the service.

Where can I find Therapy Pets?

Thanks to our generous volunteers and their pets, you'll find us in many parts of the motu. If you want to get involved please email us.

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