Canine Comfort Pet-Assisted Therapy

Spreading smiles, comfort, and healing, Valley Humane’s volunteer Canine Comfort teams carry the transformative power of wagging tails throughout our community.

Canine Comfort Pet-Assisted Therapy

The relationship between pets and people has immeasurable value on our emotional and physical health. Through Canine Comfort Pet-Assisted Therapy, Valley Humane Society brings dogs into places where most pets can’t go, sharing the unconditional love that animals offer and creating opportunities for people to experience the love of a pet.

Together with their own personal dogs, Valley Humane’s Canine Comfort volunteers visit medical facilities, schools, libraries, retirement homes, and even corporate offices throughout the Bay Area. Interacting with animals soothes people in moments of stress and grief, helping them to manage their emotions and mental outlook – whether they are having a rough day, headed into a History final, or struggling through a trauma.

Some teams also participate in Paws to Read, a special Canine Comfort program which improves the reading skills of children and encourages a love of animals in cooperation with local libraries and schools.

Many of Valley Humane’s fundraising events and humane education programs feature Canine Comfort Pet-Assisted Therapy teams, greeting guests and visitors with a smile and a wag.

Find out how you can make a difference volunteering with your dog and improve the lives of others throughout our community.

Fill out our contact form to inquire with Valley Humane’s Canine Comfort Pet-Assisted Therapy Coordinator about a visit to a facility near you.


Libraries & Schools

Paws to Read brings Valley Humane’s Canine Comfort teams together with children ages five to twelve to promote literacy and a love of animals. It reduces the anxiety that can come from learning to read by offering a relaxed, non-judgmental audience, which in turn boosts reader confidence. The proven benefits of reading to animals include increased reading fluency and improved attitudes about reading aloud. Paws to Read is offered at Pleasanton, Danville, Castro Valley, and Livermore’s Rincon libraries, among others, in addition to many local elementary schools.

Hospitals & Care Centers

Canine Comfort teams provide pet-assisted therapy wherever the healing power of pets is needed. Throughout the Bay Area, Valley Humane visits hospitals, rehabilitation units, senior housing, long-term care facilities, children’s cancer units, camps, and other places taking their special brand of unconditional love.  Everywhere they go, they combat the effects of loneliness and isolation through the joy of companionship and compassion. Our partnering agencies include Palo Alto VA Medical Center in Livermore, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Kaiser, Pleasanton’s Creekview, Heritage Estates and Quail Garden Assisted Living in Livermore, and Piedmont Gardens, among others.

Special Visits

In addition to their many regularly-scheduled visits. Valley Humane’s Canine Comfort teams can be found all over! They are popular visitors to area camps and schools, making wellness visits during finals week and other challenging times. They have soothed first responders to the Ghost Ship warehouse fire, destressed harried travelers at Oakland International Airport, and cheered veterans at Bay Area Stand Down. Teams also turn out for Valley Humane Society’s annual Tails at Twilight gala and a multitude of other events–both large and small, greeting visitors with friendly faces and wagging tails. Valley Humane proudly partners with all local school districts, Cal State East Bay, Sunflower Hill, Camp Arroyo, Camp Kara, Exceptional Needs Network, and more.

Corporate Stress Relief

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! Our Canine Comfort teams bring pet-assisted therapy into the workplace, easing stress, sharing smiles, and sparking creativity along the way.  Petting an animal improves physical health as well as emotional outlook by lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing anxiety and increasing endorphins and oxytocin. We’ve been proud to commute to Pixar, Chevron, Abbott, Sandia, PG&E, and other Bay Area companies to help people through their day.


Your contributions open the door to a future where every animal is loved and every person knows the love of an animal. Give today and make a lasting difference!