Pet Visiting Program


If you and your pet love to promote wellness in others, consider joining the Hamilton/Burlington pet visiting 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, students at colleges and universities and children and youth with special needs, some with autism.

Hamilton/Burlington SPCA volunteers and accompanying 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 must be at least one year of age, spayed or neutered, up-to-date with vaccinations (rabies and DH2PPV), and travel well in cars.
  • Animals must be in good overall health (you may be asked to provide a letter or certificate of health from a veterinarian).
  • Handlers must enjoy interacting with individuals of all ages and abilities,
  • Handlers must have good communication and control of their animal. The animal should be reliable, under control, well behaved and confident.

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


  • At least a one year commitment
  • At least 1 scheduled visit per month. Visits at each facility are 1 hour.
  • All pets and handlers must undergo an assessment for suitability

If you and your dog are interested in becoming Pet Visiting volunteers, please contact Natalie in Volunteer Services at


If you are interested in having Pet Visits at your organization, please contact Natalie at