Animal Therapy

Interacting with a dog, cat, rabbit, or other friendly animal can reduce stress and bring joy. The programs listed on this page help pet owners bring their pets into contact with others who could benefit from animal therapy. Please note that a therapy animal is not the same as a service animal for a person with a disability.

Click on the v-shaped arrow to the right of each program description to view more information.

Capital Therapy Dogs is a volunteer organization that screens and registers dogs and their handlers as therapy dog teams. They arrange for therapy dogs to be brought to different settings, including schools, libraries, and long-term care facilities.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: anyone in the Sacramento area

Email: capitaltherapydogs@gmail.com

Website: https://capitaltherapydogs.org/

This volunteer organization offers animal-assisted therapy to people of all ages at locations such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, schools, and libraries. Therapy animals may be dogs, cats, or rabbits.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: anyone (serves Sacramento County and adjacent counties)

Address: 11230 Gold Express Dr., Ste 310 #284, Gold River, CA 95670

Email: lendaheart.aat@lendaheart.org

Website: https://lendaheart.org/

Note: organizations may request regular therapy animal visits through an on-line application form

Hospice volunteers who are also animal handlers help Mercy Hospice patients interact with therapy animals at their request. Visits can occur anywhere the patient is living.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: Mercy Hospice patients (requires physician approval)

Phone: (916) 281-3900

Website: https://www.dignityhealth.org/sacramento/services/home-health-and-hospice/hospice-care/soul-pet-therapy-program

Pet Partners is a national organization that promotes the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. They provide education and training for animal handlers and help make connections between pet owners and facilities wanting to offer animal therapy.

Cost: some courses and trainings have a registration cost, other information and matching services are free

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Phone: (425) 679-5500

Email: can send message through Contact Us page on website

Website: https://petpartners.org/about-us/

This program connects volunteer pet owners with residential facilities such as nursing homes and children's homes to allow residents to interact with dogs, cats, or rabbits.

Cost: no cost

Who Is Eligible: anyone

Address: 6201 Florin-Perkins Rd., Sacramento, CA 95828

Phone: (916) 504-2847

Email: nvergara@sspca.org

Website: https://www.sspca.org/loveonloan

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This page was originally created by Kaaliyah Oakley. Last updated 6/28/2022