Animal Assisted Therapy


Welcome to Butte Humane Society’s Healing Paws Animal Assisted Wellness Program. We are looking for friendly, compassionate, reliable people, with friendly well-mannered pets that would like to work as a team to improve the lives of others.



  • Must be 18 or older
  • Must own or have access to a friendly well mannered animal

Your Pet:

  • Must be up to date on required vaccines
  • Must pass a health screening and temperament evaluation
  • All dogs and cats must be spayed/neutered
  • Does NOT have to be adopted from the BHS shelter.

Acceptable Animals Include:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Mini horses
  • Donkeys
  • Pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs
  • Rats
  • Birds

Required Capabilities:

  • Your dog will need to be able to demonstrate that he knows the following commands:
    • Sit
    • Down
    • Stay
    • Leave It
    • Walk Nicely on a Leash
    • Come or Here
    • Touch or Say Hi
  • Other animals will need to be able to demonstrate that they can walk or be carried calmly.
  • All animals will need to show that they enjoy visiting with strangers, be ok with medical equipment, and complete an evaluation simulating a real-life visit.

Where you go on visits:

  • We currently visit a number of nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the Chico area as well as work work with the library reading program and local hospitals*
  • We are currently coordinating visits to the following facilities:
    • Amber Grove
    • Country House
    • Windchime
    • The Terraces
    • The Oakmont
    • Courtyard at Little Chico Creek
    • Townsend House
    • Riverside Convalescent
    • Chico Terraces
    • Chico Library Story Tale Tutors

What you should consider:

  • Animal Assisted Wellness offers numerous benefits. It is a great way to spend time with and bond with your animal. It is also rewarding to know that you are brightening someone’s day. However, it is important to take into consideration that being involved with AAT is a commitment. When visiting, your animal must be:
    • Healthy
    • Clean and Groomed
    • Have smooth trimmed nails
    • Be up to date on vaccinations
    • Be parasite and flea-free
    • etc.
  • If you do not feel as though you have the resources to participate in AAT, there are numerous ways to volunteer at BHS! Check them out at


To get started in the animal assisted wellness program, please fill out the application & bring it with you to your interview.


For questions or more information, please contact our Outreach Coordinator at:  (530) 343-7917 x 107 or

For help with basic obedience or therapy animal training, contact: A Good Dog Day at (530) 459-8767 or