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. Children in grades K-3 are “learning to read” and by fourth grade, they are “reading to learn.” It’s vitally important that children become proficient readers in the early grades in order for them to be successful in all school subjects, which helps them in all facets of their lives. Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara provides in-school and after-school programming for low-income students throughout Santa Barbara. Through weekly, one-on-one reading sessions with a therapy dog team, students develop positive reading habits and improve their comprehension while having fun.

To learn how you can become an ARF! therapy dog team, please visit our Volunteer page.


Therapy Dog Visits

Our therapy dog teams participate in one-time visits throughout the year at schools, senior living care facilities, and children’s organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, CALM, Girls Inc., and Transition House.



In a world that’s becoming increasingly chaotic, it’s vital we give our young people the essential skills they need — not only to survive — but to thrive. Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara believes the best way to accomplish this goal is through MINDFULNESS.

Since launching MINDFUL KIDS in 2019, our instructors have taught more than 1,500 youngsters  and their teachers the skills they need to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and increase focus and resilience.

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

Our programs are provided at no cost to our partner schools, libraries and children’s organizations.
Please consider making a DONATION today.
Together, we can inspire children to become better readers and develop empathy for animals!
Thank you for your support!