Volunteer

PAWS Therapy Dogs Program

Our PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) Therapy Dog teams visit Orange County residents in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, hospices, schools and even John Wayne Airport to provide affection, comfort and love.

We are a 100% volunteer-supported program consisting of handlers and their dogs in Orange County, California. Go to our program overview page to learn more about how PAWS Therapy Dogs are helping people through Canine Literacy, Kindness Kids, PANDA, and AirPAWS.

Volunteering as a PAWS Therapy Dog team

Would you like to share your dog with members of the community, helping to bring smiles, cheer and help educate the next generation of animal lovers?  Do you have time each month to give back to the Orange County community? OC Animal Allies would love to have you join its team of PAWS Therapy Dogs volunteers!

  • Applicants over 18 years of age who have a well-behaved and compatible family pet dog are welcome to learn more about how to become a member of our PAWS Therapy Dogs team!
  • A $45 organization membership fee will be collected at orientation and if you and your dog pass the evaluation, there will be an initial Program fee ranging between $75 and $110 which includes program registration and onboarding, an OC Animal Allies volunteer manual, T-shirt, Dog Bandana and PAWS ID tag for your dog.
  • All PAWS Therapy Dogs Program participants must complete the multi-step process to be eligible for the assessment.
  • Upon successful completion of the assessment and evaluation process, volunteers must successfully complete probation and training periods at a probation facility location.
  • Advanced programs such as PANDA and the AirPAWS units are by invitation to tenured, proven teams who fit the needs of the program and meet eligibility requirements. Due to contractual obligations and expectations, we are unable to make exceptions to this policy.

Questions? Email us at info@ocanimalallies.org .


We have returned to our regular schedule for onboarding new volunteers. Generally, new programs dates are announced 3 to 4 times per year. Depending on the time of year and the number of people waiting, it may be several months before receiving an invitation for the new program to begin.

Average wait time for beginning program orientation can be 2 to 3 months. There are many moving parts to our program and onboarding process so we appreciate your patience and understanding.


Please complete the following application to be added to our program list.

Step 1 of 3

  • New PAWS Volunteer Team Orientation List

    Please complete the following form so that we can add you to the OC Animal Allies PAWS therapy dog program list. Please note that we regularly conduct evaluations 4 to 5 times a year. You should receive information on attending an orientation within 1 to 3 months to begin the process.

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Support OC Animal Allies

OC Animal Allies is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting Orange County families and their animals. We are funded solely by the generous donations of individuals and corporations in the community that we serve.

A Big Thank You

TO OUR OC ANIMAL ALLIES PARTNERS