Pet Visitation Program

Bring the joy of your pet to schools, hospitals, senior health care facilities, and more island wide. We’re seeking people-pet teams to share and advocate for the human-animal bond in support of our mission.  

The proven benefits from these visits include reduced anxiety, relief from loneliness and enhanced well-being. Learn more here. 

Hawaiian Humane accepts service, therapy and visitation animals into the program. Animals are assessed only for visitation purposes. Animal training is not provided.

Service animal: The ADA defines a service animal as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Tasks may include guiding people who are blind, alerting those who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting someone who is having a seizure, or other duties. They are working animals, not pets. The task(s) they are trained for must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support DO NOT qualify as service animals under the ADA. 

Therapy animal: An animal who is specially trained to provide emotional assistance to people to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive or emotional goals. 

Visitation animal: An animal who visits facilities to help reduce anxiety, loneliness and enhance well-being 


Current Volunteers 



Interested in Volunteering at our new campus?

  • Pet Owners 
    • Must be 18 years or older to participate with their pet. 
    • Must have been the current owner of their pet for a minimum of six months before testing.  
    • Must have good interpersonal skills and enjoy speaking and engaging with new people. 
  • Pets (Joy Ambassadors) 
    • May be any breed or mixed breed of dogs or cats, birds or rabbits, age 1 year or older.  
    • If your pet is not listed, please reach out to to see if they’re eligible. 
    • Must be up to date on all vaccinations and preventatives. Records from your veterinarian must be provided and kept up to date. 
    • Must welcome interacting with strangers of all ages, in a variety of environments. 
    • Must demonstrate good basic obedience skills. 

Application Process 

Please allow approximately 3-4 weeks to complete this application process, which may include your in-person training with our team members.  

  • Step 1: Watch our Hawaiian Humane 101 video. 
  • Step 2: Submit this Pet Visitation Volunteer Application. 
  • Step 3: Submit your Joy Ambassador Health Profile. 
  • Step 4: The Outreach team will schedule your Joy Ambassador Assessment.
  • Step 5: Accepted applicants will be contacted to pay the $30 Application Fee and complete a background check. 
  • Step 6: The Outreach team will contact you to schedule your facility tour and shadow shift based on your application preferences. 

Note: If there are multiple handlers that will accompany a Joy Ambassador* on visits, they each will need to complete a separate application and follow the same onboarding steps listed above. 

*The “Joy Ambassador” is the pet that will join you on visitations.