Pet Assisted Therapy

Bringing smiles to patients and children with HSTT certified therapy pets.


The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe’s Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) program was established in 1997. Through this program, certified HSTT volunteers and their companion animals visit Tahoe Forest Hospital, local schools and Tahoe Safe Alliance. The human-animal bond has been proven to improve the health and wellbeing of people.


Dogs must be owned by the handler and must be trained and certified. Dogs must be at least 1yr of age and spayed/neutered. Pets must also be physically and behaviorally screened to be involved in this program and up-to-date with their shots. PAT benefits both the giver and the recipient, and HSTT volunteers find participating in the program extremely rewarding.

Volunteers over the age of eighteen and their pets must complete a variety of "tests" to be certified to participate in this program. Once certified, volunteers must commit to visiting a minimum of two times per month in one or more of the PAT programs. If you think you might be interested in volunteering for this program, please contact Erin Ellis, Community Engagement Director, at (530) 582-2472 or