Pet Visiting Program


If you and your pet love to promote wellness in others, consider joining the Hamilton/Burlington pet therapy team.

If you care about the wellness of seniors, reducing anxiety among students, and encouraging socialization among children and youth with special needs, consider engaging our volunteers and their furry friends for animal touch and petting.

Pet visiting brightens days for seniors in their home, students at colleges and universities and children and youth with special needs, some with autism.

Hamilton/Burlington SPCA volunteers and accompanying animals – rabbits, cats and dogs – spend time with children, youth and seniors and provide touch time with the animals. These opportunities have tremendous wellness value added.  The benefits of animal touch, petting and social interaction include:

  • increased mobility
  • reduced stress, depression, and loneliness
  • increased self-esteem


  • Dogs and cats must be at least one year of age, spayed or neutered, up-to-date with vaccinations, and travel well in cars.
  • Dogs and cats must be calm and friendly (with both people and other animals) and comfortable in new situations.
  • Handlers must enjoy interacting with individuals of all ages and abilities,


  • At least a six-month commitment
  • At least 1 scheduled visit per month. Visits are 2 hours (including travel time).
  • All pets and handlers must undergo an assessment for suitability

To determine if your pet may suitable:
Download our expected behaviour checklist