About UsWhat We Do
Enhancing the lives of Calgarians through the human-animal bond.
The Pet Access League Society (PALS) is a non-profit organization providing regular pet therapy visits to senior citizens, children, teenagers and adults at over 60 facilities in Calgary including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary & Area Advocacy Centre, emergency and domestic violence shelters, libraries, hospices, schools and the Calgary International Airport.
What we do
Pet Therapy visits
PALS and our volunteer dogs and cats are available to come to your work, school or care facility.
Each volunteer is trained and screened, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
in the community
Pet Visitation Therapy Program
We provide Pet Visitation Therapy to over 60 facilities in the City of Calgary. These facilities consist of hospitals, long and short term care, nursing homes, schools, libraries, emergency and domestic violence shelters, addiction and mental health centres, young offender centres and the airport (and the list continues to grow).
Visitations at these facilities are set up on a bi-monthly schedule a year in advance, with a team of volunteers between 4 and 15 members (2 and 4 legged), depending on the size of the facility. Volunteers visit at each facility for up to 1.5 hours during each scheduled visit. Depending on the type of facility, the visit may entail going room to room to visit the residents, or everyone could be in a common area. PALS also visits regularly at palliative/hospice care units, but is also on an on-call as-needed basis. All services provided by PALS are offered free of charge.
PawsitivePALS is designed for youth at risk in our city who are struggling with the challenge of making healthy choices in today’s ever-changing environment. This program brings pet therapy into their world as a gentle but powerful influence designed to show them the importance of friendship, positive ways to stop peer pressure and innovative ways to ‘stop and think’ before things get out of control.
Story PALS is collaboration with the Calgary Public Libraries that began in 2006. For a 6-week session, struggling readers, aged 6-12 years old, are paired up with PALS therapy dog teams for one-on-one reading sessions.
Children who are struggling with reading have a very hard time reading in front of their peers and adults, however, the non-judgemental interaction that takes place between child and dog allows for the words to flow. During the time with the dogs, the children forget their limitations. The dogs provide rapt attention and the children read without fear of being criticized or being interrupted. This type of program has many long-term effects, but the biggest being the boost in the child’s self-esteem and the increase in their reading levels. This program is offered twice a year to as many libraries as request it.
PALS Puppy Rooms started initially as a stress reliever for students attending Calgary’s universities and other post-secondary institutes. It is still extremely popular with the students at the University of Calgary, St Mary’s University College and SAIT where we visit on a regular basis through their academic year. However, PALS has noticed a marked increase in demand for this program to address the stressful environments that we are seeing in corporate Calgary and other work environments.
Pre-Board Pals (PBP) is a partnership between Pet Access League Society (PALS) and The Calgary Airport Authority that started in April of 2014, which brings PALS therapy animals to the airport to enhance the YYC passenger experience.
The therapy dogs and cats teams will roam the terminal and greet visitors to YYC during peak travel times every Thursday to Sunday. Focusing on cancellations and delayed flights first, the teams’ primary focus is to look for those who are stressed out or otherwise struggling with the thoughts of traveling – as not all travel is fun for everyone.
Each PBP team member has a Trading Card with their pet’s picture and information on it, which are a huge hit with the children traveling.