Outreach Therapy Pets is a joint initiative between St John and SPCA Auckland. The programme involves volunteers and their pets visiting rest homes, hospitals and other health services.

Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to promote emotional wellbeing in hospitals and rest homes. It's also used as an added therapy for children suffering from a variety of illnesses. Contact with gentle animals provides comfort and helps people to be happier.

St John and SPCA Auckland together

Outreach Therapy Pets is a joint initiative between St John and SPCA Auckland. At the moment, it operates in Kaitaia, Bay of Islands, Whangarei, Auckland and Waihi. The programme involves more than 300 people and animal volunteers visiting rest homes, hospitals and other establishments to bring comfort to residents and patients.

Two kinds of therapy, many kinds of pets

Two kinds of therapy are offered through the programme: animal assisted activity and animal assisted therapy. We support the involvement of cats and dogs in therapy or social support programmes. SPCA Auckland manage the day-to-day running of the programme and they provide animal expertise, assessment and training of all the therapy pets. SPCA Auckland helps by providing animal expertise and training.

The benefits of contact with pets

  • Animals don't judge or criticise
  • They treat everybody equally
  • They aren’t shocked by human ailments, frailties, handicaps and confusion
  • They can reduce the stress and fears associated with illness or old age
  • They offer unconditional love and friendship

Would you like to find out more about using the Outreach Therapy Pets service?

If you would like to find out more about whether you can arrange Outreach Therapy Pets visits for those who may be isolated or in need of comfort and support go to http://www.spcaauckland.org.nz/what-we-do/outreach-therapy/ for more information. You can email outreach@spca.org.nz to express your interest and ask for paperwork to be forwarded to you / your organisation.

Interested in volunteering?

If you and your animal are interested in volunteering with Outreach Therapy Pets, you can go to http://www.spcaauckland.org.nz/how-to-help/volunteer/become-an-outreach-volunteer/. You will find more information about the programme and an application form you can download. This application can then be emailed to outreach@spca.org.nz  or posted to SPCA Auckland, PO Box 43-221, Mangere, Manukau 2153, New Zealand.