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Pets As Therapy

A child interacts with Tess

The unconditional devotion of a dog can encourage social activity in people who may be disadvantaged due to age, illness, disability or isolation.

Dogs can also play an important role in the emotional and physical development of children. They provide a source of love and companionship, and an opportunity to learn about responsibility first-hand.

What is Pets As Therapy (PAT)?

PAT is a free community service which has been offered by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT for over 30 years.

All PAT dogs are trained at the Guide Dogs Centre. As well as basic obedience, the dogs learn to walk quietly on the lead and, if required, next to a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walking stick or frame. A PAT dog must be friendly, stable in temperament, and well behaved.

Two young boys with a Pets As Therapy dog

A beautiful Labrador called Tess who was deemed ‘too friendly’ to become a Guide Dog, has found a new outlet for her love of people.

Read more about Tess's story

How do I apply for a PAT dog?

Ownership of a PAT dog is a very rewarding experience, but it is also an ongoing responsibility. These dogs require exercise, grooming and constant care, and their health care requires a financial commitment from the user. PAT-dog users will also need to maintain the animal's level of obedience.

Please note: Due to overwhelming demand for our wonderful Pets as Therapy dogs we are temporarily closing applications for the program. We are working hard to provide the best service we can to the high volume of existing applicants and will  reopen the application process in the near future. Please continue to check back with this page. We thank you for your patience and continued support.   

Liam and his Guide Dog Yoda

With the help of a very special dog called Yoda, Liam has begun exploring the world.

Read more about Liam and Yoda's story