Pet Partners of Southern Arizona is a Community Partner of the national non-profit, Pet Partners. Our all-volunteer group  is a 501c3 organization and works soley in the greater Tucson and Southern Arizona area. With our registered Pet Partners Therapy Animals at our side, we bring joy and comfort to others in places where pets traditionally are not allowed. 

A therapy animal is someone’s pet, who along with their handler, have been screened to be appropriate to visit people in places where animals are traditionally not allowed. Therapy animals are taken to hospitals, assisted-living and hospice centers, domestic violence shelters, libraries, schools and many other places. Therapy Animals can be dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses and other domesticated animals. 

Never underestimate the power of snuggles! Therapy animal visits can result in lowering patients’ blood-pressure, stress, and anxiety levels. They can help people forget about their pain and bring a sense of normalcy to those in need of a little joy and comfort. They can also inspire children to read or help calm and ease fears before a 'scary' medical procedure. Visits also benefit family members and professional care-givers in addition to the 'patient' or 'client'. 

Some teams work alongside professionals such as Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists doing Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). Before they interact with patients specific therapeutic goals for each session are identified. This could be encouraging someone recovering from a stroke to walk 3 minutes (its always more fun to walk a dog than just feel the pain in each step of walking as a means of therapy), or it could be helping a patient after a traumatic brain injury learn to speak again by having the patient give a dog commands such as sit, fetch, or bark. Learn more about AAT on the Pet Partners website.

Please Note: Therapy Animals are NOT Service Animals. A Service Animal as defined by the American with Disabilities Act is “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability”. Service Animals are allowed in public places such as restaurants, retail stores, etc. Therapy Animals are NOT entitled to this same privilege. To learn more about Service Animals visit the Handi-Dogs and Pet Partners national websites.
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Therapy Animals 
Serving our Community
What‘s Next???

You PASSED the evaluation!! You are so anxious to start visiting, but where? What facilities are available? What should I take with me on visits? Find answers to these questions and more by contacting today. When you join PPSAZ, experienced volunteers are happy to mentor you, invite you to join them on a visit (without your own therapy animal), and find the right places for your team to visit. We encourage you to join Pet Partners of Southern Arizona, a community partner with the national organization. These are some of the benefits you will enjoy. Click here for information on joining.

   PPSAZ Support for Pet Partner Volunteers           PPSAZ Member     Non-Member

Discounted Pet Partners Renewal/Registration Fee             X
  Members pay the Community Partner rate offered  
  by the national Pet Partners association. 

* 1st time Pet Partners are helped to find a facility to               X
  visit and mentoring/shadowing opportunities to 
  assist on first visit.

* Receive eNewsletter including helpful "knowledge               X
  sharing" information from other Pet Partner Teams.
* Access to Members Only page on PPSAZ website.               X

* Learn about new and existing facilities looking            eNewsletter/         contacted only if   
  for PPSAZ Pet Partner Teams.                                  Members only       help is needed
​                                                                                 Website page

 * Opportunity to help at PPSAZ information booths                 X               contacted only if 
   and do presentations about Pet Partners at local                                   help is needed  
   events/fairs/community event.

 * Invitations to social events and educational                         X
   opportunities sponsored by PPSAZ

 * Special Visiting Opportunities managed by PPSAZ            X               contacted only if
   (such as: special read-to-a-dog events,                                                  help is needed
   Finals destressing at U of A, Pima Community College

  * Free local evaluations                                                               X                     X 

 * Opportunity to purchase color PPSAZ Trading Cards          X
   Check "Members Only" page for details
PPSAZ Members
Bylaws are posted in Members Only 
Important Message from our President​, Diane Alexander

For the health and safety of our therapy animal, it is dictated by policy that visits should not exceed two hours per team per day. The exact wording is, "I will visit only with animals that are registered with Pet Partners and with only one animal at a time. I understand that, for safety and liability reasons, visiting may not exceed 2 hours per team per day."  

To learn more go to :

I would also recommend you limit your weekly visits to two or three days a week at most, and stay alert to signs of fatigue, anxiety, or stress on the part of your animal. You may be having a great time with lots of visits, but your dog may be saying enough is enough! You want to be a therapy team for many, many years, so strive not to wear your dog out to the point were visit become a chore for them.

Make visiting a wonderful and rewarding time for you and for your therapy animal!
Click here to hear Diane Alexander and Jackie Theodorkis podcast on Pet Talk