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Delta Animal Assisted Therapy Program

By partnering Therapy Dog Teams with health professionals, Delta Therapy Dogs offers a scalable and sustainable model of Animal Assisted Therapy 


While our Delta Therapy Dogs program focuses on general wellbeing and quality of life outcomes for our program beneficiaries, our Collaborative Animal Assisted Therapy (C-AAT) program offers a more intensive and goal-directed program offering for organisations who want to integrate therapeutic animals in to their service offering. 

With the support of subject matter experts in both the US and Australia, and based on international best practice, Delta Therapy Dogs has launched a sustainable and scalable model of AAT whereby health professionals work in collaboration with a Therapy Dog Team (handler and their therapy dog) to deliver either one-on-one or group interventions. 

Currently specialising in canine assisted psychotherapy, Delta Therapy Dogs has recently completed an 18-month pilot program in partnership with the Hunter Central Coast Local Health District which has seen proven benefits in:

  • increased rapport building between consumers and clinicians;

  • increased motivation by consumers to work towards their treatment goals;

  • improvements in consumer K10 scores relating to psychological distress;

  • improvements in consumer HONOS scores relating to mental and social health;

  • greater satisfaction with the service vs traditional intervention offerings; and 

  • expediated discharge timeframes for consumers from the service due to the positive outcomes of the intervention. 


Given the success of the pilot, Delta Therapy Dogs is now welcoming new Program Partners based in the Sydney region wishing to deliver collaborative models of canine assisted psychotherapy for adults and/or older persons. 

Parner with us

Partner with us

Delta Therapy Dogs utilises a collaborative model of AAT, meaning members of your team can work alongside our specially assessed and trained therapy dogs and their handlers to deliver interventions. No need to find your own therapy animal or invest in expensive accreditation programs for a single member of the team - we make implementing AAT sustainable and scalable for your organisation. 


As a first step, up to eight members of your team will undertake our  C-AAT training program, which boasts a blended learning approach - with e-Learning modules, live study sessions and online learner forums. Ongoing application of this learning is supported by a dedicated AAT Program Coordinator and our Community of Practice - a virtual learning space where you and other AAT innovators can continue to share and learn from one another and from Delta's US and Australian-based subject matter experts. 


Following initial co-design, Delta offers a robust model of referral, matching and intervention design which is supported by protocols and resources developed to shape and guide the delivery of C-AAT by the partnered clinician and handler. Policies and procedures developed through Delta's 26 years of experience and expertise in delivering Animal Assisted Services ensures that the safety and welfare of the animals and vulnerable people involved in the program are always our priority. 

With initial training packages priced at $300 per person (minimum 8 participants) and annual delivery and support packages starting at only $2,620, we invite you to get in touch with Debbie Sykes, AAT Coordinator, to discuss how we can work together to implement AAT in your organisation.



Looking to volunteer with an innovative program, partnering with mental health professionals to deliver canine assisted psychotherapy?​ If you are Sydney-based and excited about the prospect of being a part of this exciting work, we invite you to express your interest in joining our volunteer team. 

Unlike our Therapy Dogs Program, where you are placed with one of our Program Partners and you visit with multiple program beneficiaries to support general wellbeing, our Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) programs will see you partnered with mental health clinicians to deliver one-on-one or small group psychotherapy programs, utilising AAT practices to support treatment goals. 

Depending on your availability you could be matched with a Program Partner who wants consistent fortnightly sessions across a year, or with clinicians looking for short-term episodes of 10 sessions delivered at negotiated intervals. The latter provides those volunteers with varying availability throughout the year with more opportunities to be a part of our programs. 


An important part of our C-AAT programs is matching the right dog with the right consumer, and so we welcome dogs of all personalities! Those who love a quiet pat and a cuddle, to those who want to get up and get going to seize the day, and all those dogs in between. As long as your dog has some basic skills, a resilient temperament and absolute love of meeting new people, then they could be the perfect AAT dog!


To join our AAT program, following successful application and interview, you and your dog would need to undertake an initial 15minute screening assessment where we look at basic obedience, resilience and team work to determine if your dog would truly thrive and benefit from being a part of our programs. If marked as suitable, you and your dog would then participate in a 45-minute one-on-one with our Therapy Dog Team Trainer and Assessor to further determine suitability for AAT and undertake our canine profiling exercises. 

In addition to our generalist induction training (4-hours of live and 1-hour of self-paced online study), those assessed as suitable for delivery of AAT need to undertake an additional 10-hours of AAT training (1-hour of live and 9-hours of self-paced online study) and to participate in ongoing learning (approximately 1.5-hours every 2 months). 

Once on-boarded we work with you to match you to appropriate clinicians and consumers. As part of this matching process, you may be required to participate in intervention planning and de-briefing sessions and site inductions. Thereafter each session lasts for approximately 60-90-minutes, including short pre and post session briefings with the clinician. You may be placed with one Program Partner for a year or take on numerous shorter episodes with multiple Program Partners / clinicians / consumers. 

To find out more and to express your interest in volunteering as part of Delta's C-AAT program please contact Debbie Sykes, AAT Coordinator using the link below. 

  • Can Delta Therapy Dogs accredit my dog as a companion dog?
    Delta cannot assess or accredit dogs for work outside of our programs. Volunteer Delta Therapy Dog Teams visit facilities that have signed an agreement with us. We are unable to provide companion animal certification.
  • Can a Delta therapy dog visit my home?
    Delta Volunteer Delta Therapy Dog Teams can only visit facilities that we have signed agreement with us. At the moment, we do not visit people's own homes.
  • Can I get a dog for a disabled family member or friend?
    Dogs who are trained to personally support one person with a special need or disability are called Assistance Dogs. Please contact Assistance Dogs Australia who provide accredited dogs to assist people with special needs and disabilities.
  • Can Delta provide my dog with public access certifcation?
    No, we are not authorised to provide this certification. You should contact your local Government department that looks after this area to see what is required. Legislation can vary by state governments and councils.
  • Can Delta assess my cat,horse, etc. to be a therapy animal?"
    At this stage, our programs only involve dogs.
AAT Frequntly Asked Qustions
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