ARF! (Animals + Reading = Fun!)

ARF! is an innovative literacy program that gives students an opportunity to improve their reading skills and inspire them to become life-long readers by reading aloud to specially trained therapy dogs. Reading to therapy dogs has numerous therapeutic benefits for children. Interacting with a nonjudgmental and attentive companion like a therapy dog can create a safe and comfortable environment for young readers. The presence of a dog can help reduce anxiety, boost self-esteem, and increase confidence in struggling readers. Moreover, the calming effect of petting or being near a therapy dog can promote relaxation and decrease stress levels.

Aliso Elementary School
Carpinteria Community Library
Harding Elementary School
Oak Valley Elementary School
RiteCare Childhood Learning Center
Solvang Elementary School
Solvang Library

To request ARF! at your school or organization send us a message through our Contact Page.

Our Carpinteria ARF! Programs are sponsored by BEGA North America who is headquartered in Carpinteria and dedicated to supporting their community.


Wag Well

Mental health and wellness is of utmost importance in today’s uncertain world  and combining Mindfulness, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and self-care practices with the unconditional love of a therapy dog is a unique and beautiful gift we can give our children to help them navigate the world  with clarity, compassion and peace, and empower them to create a kinder and brighter future for all.

Since launching Wag Well  in 2019, our instructors have taught more than 2,000 youngsters and their teachers the skills needed to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and increase focus and resilience.

To learn how you can bring Wag Well to your school or children’s organization, please reach out to us via our Contact page.

Our Carpinteria Wag Well Programs are sponsored by BEGA North America who is headquartered in Carpinteria and dedicated to supporting their community.


Therapy Dog Visits

The presence of a therapy dog has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and elevate mood. Therapy dogs also offer emotional support and companionship, helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness or depression. Moreover, these visits help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as stimulate the release of endorphins, contributing to overall physical and mental well-being. Our therapy dogs have a remarkable ability to uplift spirits and bring smiles and joy to the young and young-at-heart!

HERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES WE HAVE VISITED: Aliso Elementary School, Assisted Living Santa Barbara, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Santa Barbara, Canalino Elementary School, Carpinteria Middle School, Casa Dorinda, Carpinteria Public Library, Crane Country Day School, Compass Rose Memory Care, Dos Pueblos High School, Eastside Public Library, El Camino Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Gardens on Hope Senior Residence, Harding Elementary School, Harry’s House, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Hope Elementary School, Lompoc Valley Middle School, Maravilla Senior Residence, Montecito YMCA, MOXI Children’s Museum, Oak Valley Elementary School, Orcutt Academy High School, Providence Elementary School, Ritecare Childhood Language Center, San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara City College, Samarkand Retirement Community, Santa Barbara Airport, Santa Barbara High School, Santa Ynez High School, Solvang Elementary School, Solvang Senior Center, Storyteller Children’s Center, The Oaks Parent-Child Workshop, Transition House, Vieja Valley Elementary School, Vista del Monte, UC Santa Barbara, Colleges of Law-Ventura.

To schedule a therapy dog visit at your school or organization, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page.


Santa Barbara Airport Therapy Dog Program

Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara has partnered with the Santa Barbara Airport to bring our certified pups to their terminals. Travelers can find our teams wandering through both floors of the Airport, visiting with passengers and staff. Visits vary depending on months and days of the week. We have 11 teams with TSA clearance and are available in the areas past security. Other volunteer teams are on the ground floor greeting travelers and commuters as they arrive and depart the airport.

This program is proudly sponsored by Ramsey Asphalt who is dedicated to supporting their community through philanthropy.

CD Visit 1

Senior Care Facility Visits

Working with seniors has been at the core of our mission since our founding in 1997. Just one hour per month with our therapy dogs is enough to elevate spirits at the care homes or assisted living facilities and give residents something to look forward to the next month. Our visits allow time for the residents to interact with the dogs; hold them on their laps, get snuggles and kisses and, depending on which dogs are present that day, will perform simple tricks for them. We also offer optional guided meditation  instruction, followed by a casual visit with a therapy dog.


Assisted Living Santa Barbara, Casa Dorinda, Casa San Miguel, Compass Rose Memory Care, FSA Senior Expo, Gardens on Hope Senior Residence, Harry’s House, Maravilla Senior Residence, Samarkand Retirement Community, Solvang Senior Center, Vista del Monte, Westmont of Santa Barbara

To schedule a therapy dog visit, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page.

Our Senior Care Therapy Dog Program is funded through the generous partnership with Casa Dorinda and grants from The Hildegard Balin Trust and the Santa Barbara Foundation Senior Programs Fund.

Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
and all donations are tax-deductible.
Please consider making a DONATION today
and t
hank you for your support!