Therapy Dogs are associated with a vast range of establishments. More commonly seen in schools or residential homes, we also visit hospitals, hospices and prisons.
We are increasingly being asked to visit large corporations as part of their Staff Well-being Programmes to reduce stress in the workplace. You may be contacted by our Placement Officer who has a special request for a visiting dog. You are not obliged to attend, in fact, we would far rather you say that it was not for you than for you to attend and not enjoy it.
Some people have very specific ideas about where they do and don’t want to visit. Careful consideration needs to be given to not only your own limitations but also that of your dog. New volunteers don’t necessarily think about the bigger picture. For example, getting close to people in nursing homes, who then pass away, could be distressing.
Please really think about what type of establishment will suit you (as well as your dog), and what possible downsides there might be. If you go into a psychiatric ward, people may be shouting and/or swearing, and you might be asked to wear an alarm or if you undertake visits to prisons, you will not be able to take anything in with you, including mobile phones, so you will not be contactable, should you need to be.