SPCA New Zealand

Volunteer positions

Therapy Pet Volunteer
Dunedin Centre

Therapy Pet Volunteer

Outreach Therapy Pets involves volunteers and their own pets who visit rest homes and hospitals to bring comfort and support to those in need.

The animals accepted onto the team have all been assessed for appropriate behaviour in unfamiliar situations, basic obedience and health.

​What we expect from our volunteers:

  • The minimum age for joining the team is 18 years of age and animals must be between 12 months and 10 years.
  • To join the team you MUST have your own animal – it is not appropriate to use an animal belonging to a friend or family member.
  • Volunteers need to commit to two visits a month for 12 months.
  • Volunteers to have an excellent working relationship with their animal and able to keep them safe, supervised and under control.
  • Volunteers are responsible for ensuring their animal’s needs and welfare are being met at all times.

​What we expect from our therapy animals:

Outreach therapy animals must be:

  • Highly sociable with all types of people.
  • Confident and calm around people that may act differently to their owners.
  • At ease in new, unfamiliar environments.
  • Dogs must be obedient, with exceptional control and focus in new environments with lots of distractions.
  • Outreach dogs should be able to walk calmly on a loose lead and perform sit, down, stay and recall reliably in an unfamiliar environment with distractions.
  • Clean and well-groomed prior to visits.
  • Dogs must be spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, microchipped and registered with their local council.
  • Animals must be assessed by a veterinarian as in good health. Animals with chronic conditions that are painful and/or affect mobility will not be considered for therapy work.

Animals that show signs of fearfulness or aggression during the behavioural assessment will not be accepted into the programme

How to apply

You will need to fill out the online application form below which will be emailed to us.

If you think your dog could bring real value to the lives of those in rest homes and hospitals then we would love to have you on board! If you are able to commit to what this amazing programme needs, submit an application now.

If you have any questions, please contact us on Dunedin.volunteer@spca.nz

Apply now
Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit