The Animal Assisted Therapy Department's General AAT Program provides therapeutic visits to more than 60,000 San Francisco residents annually. Through our Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program, we also promote literacy and a love of reading at San Francisco schools and libraries.
201 Alabama Street San Francisco, CA, 94103-4213 Phone: 415.554.3060 Fax: 415.901.6298
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AAT Orientation (Handlers only, no pets) (1h)
Attendance is required before you can register for any further training. At this orientation you will learn more about the evaluation process, health certification requisite, facility visit observation & mentor training, scheduling process and Evaluation Series payment requirements. Sessions are held in the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center at the SF SPCA, located at 201 Alabama Street. Please meet at the lower level kiosk and an AAT team member will greet you.
*Do not bring pets to the orientation session.*
Please complete and return the AAT Application *in advance* of attending an orientation and be sure to include a photocopy of your ID.
We are looking for personable volunteers and friendly, healthy, spayed/neutered pets to serve our community. If you have a dog, please note that your pet must be safe and comfortable around other dogs, around mobility equipment, and know basic commands.
Note: we do not guarantee placement at particular sites.
We expect our teams to enjoy meeting a variety of people and be willing to serve our diverse population. Volunteers should embody a commitment to caring service to any and all facilities and members of our San Francisco community. We have many facilities that can only take visits during regular business hours, so please be advised in advance that if you are limited to evenings and weekends your visit options will also be limited.
@ Home Training (3h 30m)
In partnership with Hospice By The Bay we will offer hospice training for volunteers interested in joining the @ Home program. The @ Home program was started in 2017 to serve those who are housebound, often on hospice.
Please cancel if you know you cannot make it.
AAT Preliminary Canine Evaluation (20m)
Our free, mandatory Preliminary Evaluation session helps determine your team's readiness for our Comprehensive Evaluation Series by assessing your pet's basic skill level. The session will also help you decide whether you want to make the time and monetary commitment to the Program.
All prospective teams must attend a preliminary evaluation in advance of starting the AAT Comprehensive Evaluation Series. Upon successful completion of the Preliminary Evaluation, should you decide to proceed, you will receive further instructions and materials.
AAT Canine Training Series (1h 30m)
Please sign up for this first class of the series. By registering for the first class you are automatically registered for the second class and the field evaluation/graduation. All graduations are held on Tuesdays, including the field evaluation/graduation for Sunday classes. The first two classes are at the AAT Office at 201 Alabama Street--the same location as your preliminary evaluation. The third class is our field evaluation/graduation and is always held at one of our facilities. You will receive additional information as that date approaches.
Attending all sessions, in order, is mandatory. Please come to the first session with your clean pet on a standard collar/harness and non-retractable leash and bring some treats for your pet.
Your check for $200 MUST arrive at least 5 business days before the first class session. Failure to pay in a timely manner will result in your slot being opened for another candidate.
Please make your check payable to AAT and send to: AAT, 201 Alabama Street, SF, CA 94103. Alternatively, you may drop off your check at the AAT Offices at 201 Alabama Street.
AAT Canine Temperament Check In (20m)
This free check in is a twenty minute meeting with our dog trainer.
A temperament check in with our trainer is required of all teams who have taken hiatus for more than six months, anyone returning to training with a gap of six or more months between training elements, and teams with pets that are getting older or have been referred by our facilities.
It is also an optional training discussion and check in for any current team with questions about how pets are handling visits.
Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program Workshop (1h 30m)
This workshop is designed to prepare current AAT teams for certification in our Puppy Dog Tales Reading Program. The workshop is only open to teams already enrolled in our General AAT Program. You will bring your pet with you (provided you have completed General AAT evaluation) and plan to meet us at the PDT Reading Room, which is located at the corner of 16th Street and Alabama. There is an iron gate which we will begin monitoring five minutes before the start of the session.
Please be punctual.
**We will allow teams having gone through Orientation to
The 20-minute recertification is a 10-11-point test administered by a certified dog trainer.
Recertification is done by qualified dog trainers and takes about 20 minutes. We require payment of $35 at the appointment or before. Please send to AAT/SF SPCA/201 Alabama Street/ SF, CA 94103 or drop by our offices. Thanks!