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PET THERAPY VISITS
The mission of the Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta (PeTS) is to provide safe and effective animal-assisted activities and pet therapy visits to the people that live and work in our community. We offer these services at no cost to our facility partners, thanks to our dedicated volunteers and generous donors.
Therapy animals are pets with fantastic personalities, owned by their handler. Each animal is evaluated for obedience and temperament and health-screened by veterinarians. Our teams are observed in practice environments as well real pet therapy visits before being ratified to perform pet therapy visits on their own.
Facilities can request ongoing pet therapy visits from PeTS volunteers using the form below.
Some important information to know:
- Pet therapy teams typically visit for 60 mins at a time.
- Our volunteers choose which facilities they visit.
- We have volunteers with daytime, evening, and weekend availability, but have an easier time providing services after 5pm during the week.
Stress Busters (One Time Only) Visits
Stress busters are one-time events where one or more pet therapy teams provide stress relief. If you are interested in a Stress Buster event, please click on the Submit Button below and our Administrator Diane will reach out to you to organize your event for you and notify you if any teams are available to attend your event.
Compassionate Care End-of-Life Visits
Compassionate Care is a special visit, at the request from a Facility or directly from a family member, to work with a family dealing with an end-0f-life situation (either through a single visit or a series of visits).
Some important information to know about Pet Therapy Visits:
- Pet Therapy teams typically visit for 60 mins at a time, but can be up to 2 hours in length.
- Pet Therapy teams are there to provide support, but are not equipped to provide presentations on Pet Therapy.
- Compassionate Care visits are done at a facility, not through a home visit.
If you are interested in booking a Compassionate Visit, please reach out to Carol (our Facilities Director) at email@example.com and she will help you organize a visit/s.
Special Event Visits
We work with companies and groups to bring pet therapy to festivals, fundraising events, health & wellness fairs, and corporate VIP events.
Pet therapy may be a small portion of the schedule, or offered throughout the day. Depending on size and duration, multiple teams may be scheduled.
There is absolutely no charge for our services.
Sample of Receiving Pet Therapy Visits
Frequently Asked Questions
We have ratified teams with dogs and cats, though the majority of our teams are with dogs.
No, our volunteers pick the facility they wish to visit. When you submit a Pet Therapy Request Form, you can set requirements such as “no cats” or “no animals on raw food diets”, which lets our teams filter out the facilities they don’t qualify for.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.
Pet therapy visits are typically 60 minutes long, though visit lengths may vary slightly by pet. With newer teams, the pet may be tired after 45 minutes. Some seasoned teams can happily visit for 90 minutes.
You can request visits weekly, biweekly, monthly, semi-annually, and annually. If you would like multiple visits in the same week, we may be able to accommodate using multiple teams.
Yes, you can choose the dates & times when you would like pet therapy teams to visit. When a team is interested in visiting, they will contact you to confirm the schedule.
We can’t promise when a team will select your facility to visit, as it is up to our volunteers to choose. We promote all new facilities to our volunteers.
Our therapy pets are tested for temperament in a variety of situations with a variety of people before they are ratified. We evaluate how they respond to people of different ages, sizes, genders, and even different types of outfits. While a pet may be surprised if a new condition arises during a pet therapy visit, we are confident that their reactions will not be negative and that their handler will be able to manage the situation to reassure their pet that the something new is also something good.
To ensure the safety of our teams, we ask that our teams not be scheduled to visit when you have other animals scheduled to visit in the same room.
Our volunteers will be able to display a dated membership card, either in paper form, or from their mobile device. The membership card will have the volunteer’s name ( which should match their government issued ID), their pet’s picture, name and breed. The therapy animal will be wearing a bandana featuring the PeTS logo.
We were incorporated in 1995 as a not for profit organization, and are proud to be starting our 25th year of service.
We do not charge for our visits, and our volunteers will not accept remuneration for their visits. If desired, you are welcome to make a charitable donation to PeTS. Donations of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.
No, our society does not provide service animals, which are specially trained to support a single handler. Our therapy animals are personal pets that have friendly personalities that help many people by easing loneliness, stress, and anxiety.
No, our visits are only conducted at public or corporate facilities, when event or facility staff are onsite.
Our pets are assessed by veterinarians annually, tested for parasites, and vaccinated according to recommendations from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). We require our teams to pause visits if their pets are sick and/or on antibiotics.
PeTS doesn’t require our volunteers to be vaccinated to perform pet therapy visits. We do ask that they be in good health, and not taking antibiotics before visiting. If your facility requires specific vaccinations, we can highlight that for our volunteers, so that they can bring proof of their vaccination during orientation.
Yes, subject to the availability of volunteers. The majority of our volunteers work full time, so it can be difficult to fill the daytime volunteer shifts.
Yes, we provide teams at large events, where there are 50 or more people attending, such as Homeless Connect, the City of Edmonton’s Health and Wellness Fair, and exam week at a local post-secondary institution. We have also supplied therapy pets for quiet rooms at large conventions. The time and dates of the events will determine if teams are available. It’s best to request pet therapy visits 4-6 weeks before the event.
Yes, we provide teams for smaller events, where they are fewer than 50 people expected. Some examples of this might be visiting an accounting office after year-end or a fire station for a mental health initiative.
If you have questions about getting pet therapy visits for your facilities, please fill out the form below and a volunteer will respond within 72 hours.