spcaLA: Friends for Life

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, since 1877

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Pets of the Week

Richie the Shepherd MixCrinkles the Domestic Short Hair

Mar 30–Apr 5

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Volunteer Services

spcaLA’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Program (AAT)

Dog assisting elderly woman

spcaLA AAT dog providing unconditional
love to an elderly woman

spcaLA’s AAT Program began in 1986 to promote the human-animal bond and to enrich the physical and psychological well-being of people confined to hospitals and other institutions. In 2005, we branched out and began our literacy program known as PAWS to Read.

Under the guidance of the spcaLA’s Volunteer Services Department, AAT volunteers and their companion animals visit facilities that have requested our services. Before visiting a facility with their animals, our volunteer-animal teams must pass our temperament test to ensure that each team has the proper personality and temperament for this unique and rewarding work. In addition to passing our temperament test, the animals are required to be healthy, have updated vaccinations and be groomed prior to each visit.

spcaLA certified AAT volunteers and their pets* visit a variety of facilities throughout Southern California, including hospitals, adult day care centers, children’s libraries, convalescent homes and others.

During these weekly or monthly visits, participants benefit from the healing, calming power of pets by brushing, petting, reading to or just being near these lovable pets.

Become an AAT Volunteer

If you are ready to make a long-term commitment as a spcaLA AAT volunteer, click the links below for more information:

Things to know before you apply:


Receive AAT visits at your facility

Sorry, but we currently do not have enough volunteers to visit any more facilities. Please come back to check on this status. Thank you.

“Love is reading to wonderful, huggable doggies…” said of spcaLA’s PAWS to Read Program by Elmita R. Brown, Hermosa Beach Library Manager

If you would like to request visitations from our Animal-Assisted Therapy volunteers and their pets (free of charge), please review the “AAT Facility Request Form” and submit the completed paperwork by fax to (323) 730-5333 or by mail to:

5026 West Jefferson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90016

To request information or an application, please call (888) spca-LA1, ext 300 or email volunteer@spcaLA.com.

* spcaLA does not certify “assistance animals” (e.g. guide dogs) or other service animals for purposes other than AAT visits to spcaLA-approved facilities.