To provide and promote the healing comfort and companionship of animals through pet therapy visitations.
Since 1982, Pets and Friends, a non-profit registered charity, has been sharing the healing comfort and companionship of animals through volunteer therapy dog visitations in the lower mainland of BC. Therapy Dogs are part of a 'Therapy Dog Team’ consisting of a volunteer handler and their companion dog. These 'teams’ go through a screening process that includes an application, criminal record check, references, therapy dog evaluations, and an orientation training session before being matched with a facility requesting therapy dog services where they make regular volunteer visits for at least one year. The many benefits of therapy dog visits include easing feelings of loneliness and depression in seniors residing at care facilities, providing a welcome distraction from pain and treatment among patients in hospitals, and reducing anxiety and stress in college students during exams. Therapy Dog Teams may apply to the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) for recognition through their Therapy Dog Program for number of visitations made.