About PATS

Visits with pets bring joy, relaxation and connection to people of all ages and backgrounds — from young children to the elderly, from post-secondary students to those recovering from illness and injury.

Programs and We Do

PATS volunteers and their pets serve the people of Vancouver Island with pet therapy visits in health care facilities, care homes, retirement communities, schools, universities, private residences and more.

PATS also partners with local high schools and post-secondary institutions to provide well-attended and beloved “de-stress” events, giving students a chance to benefit from pet therapy at challenging times in the school year.

PATS volunteers help young students with their reading through the Paws and Tales literacy program in schools and libraries. Students are encouraged to read aloud to a dog, who serves as a safe, fun and non-judgemental listener as they develop their literacy skills.

We are proud to offer safe, quality pet therapy visits and events.

Person with black dog

All PATS pets have passed a behavioural assessment and are healthy, clean, and up-to-date on their immunizations.

PATS is a Canadian Kennel Club Approved Therapy Dog Organization.

Did you know?

Therapy pets are different from service dogs. Service dogs are trained to provide services directly to their handlers, while therapy pets provide services to others under the supervision of their handlers. PATS does not train or certify emotional support animals, guide dogs or service dogs.



In 1998, Sadey Guy founded PATS.

As a child, Sadey would take her dogs and rabbits to visit the residents at the seniors’ home her family ran. It was only natural that years later, after retiring from a career in nursing, she set out to start the first pet therapy association on Vancouver Island.

Sadey worked tirelessly to establish PATS as a well-organized and respected registered charity with a deep commitment to ensuring clients get the most out of their pet therapy experience. Over more than 30 years, countless clients have benefited from visits with our pets, which have included llamas, miniature horses, cats, rabbits and, of course, dogs.

Though she died in 2015, Sadey is still recognized for her significant contributions to the community. Her history of service and connection is what drives PATS as we evolve to meet the needs of our community today.

Today, PATS volunteers remain true to Sadey’s original intent, bringing comfort and healing to those we visit.

People with black dog

PATS Board of Directors

Clementine Hiltner, president

Caryn Dooner, vice president

Rahel Umpherson, treasurer

Morgan Wallace, secretary

Lucinda Brown, director at large

Emily Tackaberry, director of communications

Our Team

PATS is run by a small volunteer Board of Directors. Our operations depend on the generous donations of time from volunteers as well as membership fees, donations from our community, sponsorships and grants.

Support the delivery of pet therapy services in your community with a tax-deductible one-time or recurring donation.

“Our goal is to make people smile — by remembering pets of days gone by, or laughing at my dog’s big wet nose as she greeted them. It’s about the moments of connection.” - Kimberley, PATS handler