Developing a Visiting Animal Program

There are many ways that therapy animal team visits can benefit the health and well-being of people in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, child welfare facilities and many other settings.  Read through the steps below to see how you can collaborate with Pet Partners to develop a program.

If you need assistance after reviewing the steps, set up a free phone consultation with a Pet Partners coordinator. Please be sure to include the best days, times and phone number along with an email address to confirm your scheduled consultation. Setting up a scheduled consultation will assure that you receive the time, support and resources needed to implement a successful program for you facility. Send your request to

Step 1: Initial Set-up

Step 2: Site Assessment / Policies & Procedures
Step 3: Register Your Facility
Step 4: Recruit Therapy Animal Teams

Step 1: Initial Set-Up

Educate your facility about AAA/T through Pet Partners' “Introducing Pet Partners and Other Visiting Animal Programs to Facilities” PowerPoint presentation and Pet Partners Feature Video.

For an overview of the Pet Partners Therapy Animal program visit our About the Program page.

Step 2: Site Assessment / Policies and Procedures

In order to have a safe program, Pet Partners recommends that your staff familiarize themselves with basic safety and risk management information about AAA/T.  For example - is your facility a challenging or easy site for an animal?  A facility commonly uses a site assessment checklist as a planning tool to determine whether or not an AAA/T program is a viable option for them. 

Next, you will need to establish your program’s AAA/T policies and procedures.

Please contact us if you are having trouble developing an AAA/AAT Policies and Procedures Manual. We can provide you with sample policies and procedues. Also available is a copy of our Pet Partners Volunteer Policies and Procedures.

Step 3: Register your Facility*

Download the Facility Registration Packet and send the completed packet to the following address:

Pet Partners
Attn: Facilities Program Coordinator
875 124th Ave NE, Ste 101
Bellevue, WA 98005-2531

*If you are proposing to have within your Hospice volunteer program an ‘In-Home &/or Adult Family Home Therapy Animal Visiting Program’, please read our In-Home Hospice/Adult Family Home Visits policy document.

Step 4: Recruit Therapy Animal Teams**

To find teams in your area you can enter basic information on our online volunteer request form at (redirects to a Google form).  This information is made available to our registered teams seking new opportunties.  You can also search our Community Partners directory to see if there is a local group of volunteers in your geographic area.  A community partner is a group or registered teams in a specific geographic area who collaborate to serve the needs of the community.  Finally, contacts for registered facilites also have access to the team directory on their facility resources page.

**Please note teams are matched to your facility based on environmental dynamics. Placement of teams is based on availability. Teams may not be available in all areas.

“For patients, family and staff, the dog seems to comfort and console. It’s a few minutes that take you away from where you are.”

Oncology Nurse
Aultman Hospital


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875 124th Ave NE, Suite 101 • Bellevue, WA 98005 U.S.A.

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