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Therapy Pet Support - SPCA Dog Squad




Social Support


Working Hours



SPCA has been protecting New Zealand’s animals for over 150 years. As a SPCA Therapy Pet Volunteer you will be part of the SPCA Dunedin Dog Squad, visiting patients in rest homes & other care facilities, with your pet dog for a friendly chat & pat, bringing comfort and support to those who need it most.

As a Therapy Dog Volunteer you will be:

  • Confident, comfortable and at ease when handling your dog and talking with patients, relatives and staff
  • Using your active listening skills while closely supervising your animal
  • Demonstrating the great working relationship you have with your pet
  • Sharing a pet that is willingly sociable, thrives on human contact and loves interacting with others
  • Following all health and safety requirements of the facility you are visiting
  • A people person, warm, friendly and sensitive to the needs of others, having empathy and patience

Training/Skills Gained:

  • Volunteers are supported and accompanied by our volunteer Dog Squad coordinator on their first visit
  • Volunteers are provided with an SPCA T-Shirt
  • You will be meeting like-minded people who share a passion for animals and people
  • You will be working in the presence of staff at all times if you need to ask for help

Benefits for Volunteers:

  • As a Therapy Pet volunteer you will be helping residential staff and families to facilitate therapeutic wellbeing
  • You will enjoy meeting new people and seeing others appreciate your pet


  • The minimum age for volunteers to join the Dog Squad is 18 years
  • To join the team you must have your own animal - not belonging to a friend of family
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • All therapy dogs are required to be a minimum of 2 years old, in good health, fully vaccinated, de-sexed and regularly de-flea and wormed
  • Dogs must be registered with the council
  • Volunteers are to have an excellent working relationship with their animal and are able to keep them safe, supervised and under control either on a harness of lead at all times
  • Volunteers are responsible for ensuring their animals needs and welfare are being met at all times
  • Therapy dogs need to be confident and calm while being introduced and working within a variety of new environments with different sights, sounds and smells
  • All potential volunteer dogs must pass a canine obedience/behavioural assessment carried out by SPCA staff onsite at the Dunedin Centre

A Ministry of Justice background check is required for this role.

Time commitment

  • 1 hour visits either, weekly, fortnightly or monthly on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Volunteer on a regular rostered basis
  • Times vary, but we work in with your schedule
  • Earliest start is 10am, the latest start is 2pm

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 2515

Apply for this role:


Demographic information:
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Other information (optional):
In applying for this position I confirm that I have read the requirements of the position and believe I have the skills and attributes required to carry out this role safely and effectively.