Skip to main content

Pets visit retirement care homes

Cheeky birds, devoted dogs and even a tiny horse brighten the lives of residents in Fraser Coast retirement homes each week. The team of furry and feathered friends and their human carers visit a nursing home or retirement centre each week.

Pet and Engagement Therapies (PET) is a group of volunteers that delivers community engagement to those in residential care. The volunteers, including children and pets, meet each week at a chosen nursing home and visit for an hour or two. There’s no set time limit, so they stay while everyone is enjoying the interaction.

Every moment can bring happiness and a smile to a resident’s face. Their flexible approach is modelled around the diverse features and characteristics that each volunteer brings. The team encourages the participation of young people in activities as the residents in the nursing homes love to see children play and to even join in playing a board game with them. It can also strongly benefit the children as they connect with other generations and bond.

The group is supported by the Hervey Bay Animal Refuge and is run by volunteers. The group used to just be pet therapy but now incorporates more than just animals.

The team is always looking for eager volunteers to join with their children and animals. To bring along your pet you require the animal’s injections certificate to ensure all animals are up-to-date. All animals are welcome whether they are furry or feathered. The residents have been visited by dogs, cats, mini horses, chickens, ducklings and birds. If you are interested in your child being a part of the team, please remember that parental supervision is needed at all times.

On a typical visit, the team assembles in the foyer where members meet and sign in. They are then escorted to the common room where the residents are eagerly waiting. Owners of pets walk around the room with their animals greeting each resident and chatting about their pets. Young children may choose to play a board game such as snakes and ladders while the residents watch on enthusiastically or may even choose to join in. Others from the team play the piano provided by the facility and have a sing-along with the residents. Some of the team or children bring along other instruments and play while some residents join in or tap their feet and clap along. The residents find joy in the shared experiences.

The visits don’t just benefit the residents but can also help volunteers.  The group approach is supportive and encouraging, which means quieter volunteers can participate at their own pace by clapping along to music and progressively become more involved with each visit.

Even with residents who have a difficult time communicating, a smile or even eyes widening with recognition is evidence of the difference they are making to the lives of others.

If you would like to contact the team you can call them on 0457 056 772 or email or alternatively like their Facebook page PET Team Hervey Bay

Have you picked up a copy of our magazine?

Available at Hervey Bay Stockland’s, Night Owl, Food n Groove, Maryborough Art Gallery, and various other newsagents throughout the Fraser Coast..

There’s more!

Recent Posts / View All Posts

Fraser Island Shark Attack

| News | No Comments
A 36yr old man died from a from a shark attack off Fraser Island last Saturday afternoon (4th July). Matthew Tratt, a father of two from the Sunshine Coast and a…

A Cappella

| Entertainment | No Comments
A Cappella – it’s all about harmony and sisterhood Story by Marianne Kresse,  Photos supplied by Armella Pratt Did you know that Hervey Bay has its own A Cappella Chorus?…

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre Art Auction

| Art | No Comments
The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s inaugural art auction took place on Friday, April 19.  Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson thanked local auctioneer Craig Winter for orchestrating the event…

Remembering Our Anzacs

| Community, Local Life | No Comments
Background Image: Statue of Duncan Chapman in Queens Park, Maryborough. The first man to have stepped onto the shores of Gallipoli in World War I. Present Anzac Day is the…

Books by the Sea

| Local Business | No Comments
Cate Akaveka from Books by the Sea, formerly Mary Ryan’s, has given the shop a new look at their new location on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay The book shop…

Common Dream Meanings

| Entertainment | No Comments
Every night when we lay down to bed our brain is busily creating situations from our unconscious. Dreams are a way of relieving stress and bringing to light what we…

Bayside Transformations

| Local Business | No Comments
From Gutter to Glory Success stories from Bayside Transformations Ice destroys lives. It tears families apart. But Joshua Alsop and Zack Walthall are living proof that the destruction caused by…


| Art | No Comments
Tori-Jay Mordey is a 24-year-old local Indigenous artist who began drawing when she was very young. She was raised in the Torres Straits on Thursday Island but spent a majority…

Earth Hour – 30th March

| Environment | No Comments
Earth Hour 2019 8:30pm to 9:30pm Every year, for one hour, a movement of people turn out their lights in recognition of climate change.  This is a global event that first…

Dial A Driver – A story of Irony

| Local Business, Local Life | No Comments
Dial A Driver (D.A.D) is a company created by owner Rob Braddock that has been servicing Hervey Bay and Maryborough since 1984. It is currently in the process of setting…

Rabbit Pattern

| Crafts | No Comments
Download Pattern To start off with, I decided to make the bunny out of easy obtainable items found in your nearest Spotlight store. He has been made with a white…

Hervey Bay School Strike for Climate

| Community, Environment | No Comments
You are never too small to make a difference A group of Hervey Bay children and adults have become part of a global grassroots network calling for climate change action.…

Bamboo vs Cotton vs Hemp

| Environment | No Comments
I am often asked from where I source my inspirational stories. Is it from my worldly, educated grasp of current affairs? My uncanny ability at reading people, or maybe my…

Cashless Debit Card

| Local Life | No Comments
The cashless debit card is currently being rolled out in the Hervey Bay Area to a select group of 6000 people under 35 years old who receive welfare in the…

New Species of Dolphin found of the Fraser Coast

| Environment | No Comments
Story by Kelsey Corcoran Photos provided by Paul Aurisch Next time you see a dolphin in Hervey Bay, take a good look because it could be the newly-named Sousa sahulensis.…

Steampunk makes a home on the Fraser Coast

| Local Business | No Comments
If you haven’t heard the term ‘steampunk’ before, or not sure what it means, don’t worry - you’re not alone. If you have seen Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ or…