Canine Comfort

Sign up with your dog to make a difference in the lives of others as a Canine Comfort Pet Therapy volunteer team. You’ll visit places that most pets can’t go, comforting those in our community who need it most by sharing your dog’s unconditional love and friendship. Spread joy at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers, libraries, and more, through Paws to Heal and Paws to Read.

Basic Participation Requirements for Dogs and Handlers

Handlers must provide their own dog.

Dogs must:

  • Be at least one year old
  • Be spayed or neutered (special exemptions available)
  • Pass our certification process, an evaluative temperament test which requires them to be calm, friendly, enjoy petting, adapt to varying scents, sounds, and surroundings, and show no reaction to other dogs
  • Be able to perform simple commands, including “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “come,” “off,” “drop it,” and “leave it”
  • Be up to date on vaccinations, and have received a fecal exam and veterinary checkup within the last year
  • See complete list of Policies below

Handlers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Successfully pass a background check
  • Pass an evaluation with the dog they will be handling
  • Positions are limited

Getting Started

1. Please review our complete list of program policies.

2. Print and fill out both Handler and Dog applications. Return together by mail, to:

Valley Humane Society
ATTN: Canine Comfort Pet Therapy
3670 Nevada Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566

All applicants must be pre approved to attend the orientation, positions are limited

Must have email as it is our primary way of communication.

3. A representative from Valley Humane Society will contact you to confirm receipt of your completed applications, and to schedule your participation in a Canine Comfort Orientation. This is a meeting to introduce the policies and procedures you will need to understand as both a Canine Comfort Pet Therapy handler and Valley Humane Society volunteer. Dogs should not be brought to this meeting.

Next orientation will be October 21th, evaluations on the 28th please submit your application for approval and details will be given at that time.

4. Once you have attended a Canine Comfort Orientation, you will be scheduled with your dog for evaluation and certification. From there you will be directed how to begin scheduling visitations.

Please contact Shoshannah Reed at sreed@valleyhumane.org  for more information.