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Animal Assisted Therapy

*Please note our new rates for 2020. All bookings already quoted/confirmed as of February 24, 2020 will be honouring the previous rate. Any new bookings will following the new price schedule outlined below.*

This is where Hands on Exotics started and it remains a huge passion for us. Hands on Exotics currently visits about 300 nursing homes, hospitals, adult day programs, autism and special needs groups, and other similar facilities on a regular basis.  Most of these programs end up booking us for regular visits.

Booking Process

  • See below for detailed information on our program including pricing
  • Contact us with your preferred date/time and location
    • Please indicate what group type you may be: long term care, retirement home, special needs, day program, etc.
    • Please let us know if you are interested in booking multiple visits
  • For new clients or clients who have not booked for a while, a booking form may need to be completed. For return customers, we may be able to just verify all the information we have on hand for an invoice to be generated.
  • Deposits may be required for bookings >$500, but generally we are happy to accept a cheque in the full amount mailed prior, day of, or at least 30 days after the booking date.

Our Program

  • We are very hands on with almost all of the animals (though just how hands-on we are depends on the mental and physical capabilities of the group we are working with).
  • While we aim to be educational, our primary goal is to give each participant an opportunity to touch, hold, interact with and get pictures with each animal.
  • We are experienced with all forms of physical and mental disability and visit many dementia wards.
  • We work with over 150 animals. Over time, people get to see all of our animals, learn their names, and form relationships with them.
  • For locations we visit often, we keep track of what animals are brought and do our best to bring different animals each time!


  • We do either group presentations or room to room visits
  • Group presentations work best in an enclosed room with everyone seated in a large circle or seated in rows with large gaps in between for the handler to walk through
  • Groups of up to 30 work well. Really large groups do not work as well as participants have to wait a long time for their turn with each animal
  • Number and types of animals depend on the format, duration, # of participants and other logistics
  • We can do multiple formats in the same home to make sure everyone gets a chance!

Examples: At Leisureworld St George we spend 2.5 hours (30 minutes on each of the five floors – 20 minutes in the common area, 10 minutes room to room). At the Westbury, we do 3 hours room-to-room visits. At Leisureworld Lawrence, we do 4 30-minute group visits, one per floor.

Our Pricing

  • While, our therapy rates are already heavily discounted from our regular packages, we do our best to work within the budget of every facility. Contact us to discuss your facility’s budget needs.
  • To offer these low rates, we do our best to visit multiple facilities on the same day in the same region. For example, on the same day each month, we visit all of the Leisureworld Long Term Care Homes in Brampton.
  • If you would like to see more animals or guarantee certain specialty animals for your booking (great for special events/open houses/etc.), feel free to add on animals (see below) to your booking or book one of our regular packages.
LTC, Hospital, Special Needs Retirement

Single Visit: $185

Quarterly Visits: $175

Monthly Visits: $165

Weekly or Biweekly Visits: $145

Weekend Rate: $240

Single Visit: $205

Quarterly Visits: $185

Monthly Visits: $175

Weekend Rate: $240

Additional Handler: $110 + HST (Recommended for larger groups for more hands-on interaction)

Additional Time: $70 + HST/extra hour (1 handler); $110 + HST/extra hour (2 handlers)

Travel Surcharges: Applicable for addresses further than 25 km from our location. Contact us for a quote.

Add-On Animals
Please contact us to see if any of the animal ambassadors below are available to add to your visit!

[All Add-On Animals are Subject to Availability and Handler Training]

Bring a Camera – Start an Animal Board!

  • All of the animals are photo and flash friendly
  • Document these wonderful, unique memories for their families
  • Start a board with animal pictures and add to it each visit
  • We can bring you parrot feathers, snake skins, and other items to add to the board


Will the animals poop?

  • All of the animals can and probably will poop. Our birds mostly stay on perches when they are not passed around and those perches are over drop-cloths that we put down and the birds do most of the pooping. So we take most of the mess with us but the occasional poop on a participant or the floor will happen. Its all part of the experience!

Can our staff pass around the animals too?

  • Some of the really simple animals are safe for a competent staff person to pass around, but most of the time, especially on our first visit, until we know the residents and staff, we will take one animal out at a time and pass it around for the safety of the animals and participants. Facilities that we have visited for years where we know everyone we may take more liberties if the presenter feels comfortable with it. But generally we try and keep things as safe and controlled as possible.

What if we are afraid of some of the animals?

  • In our experience the residents or participants are game for everything, and if anyone is afraid it is typically a staff member. Let us know if one of the participants has a particular phobia and we will save that animal for last or not bring it out at all.
  • Since each presenter does multiple visits in a day and does not have time to go back to the zoo to switch out animals, there will likely be a snake, other reptiles or other animals with each presenter. All of these animals come in carriers and they do not have to come out each visit.

Are the animals safe to touch?

  • All of our animals undergo fecal tests and visits from the veterinarian to ensure their health. Vaccination records are also provided if your administration requires them.
  • Our animals are selected for their temperament and ability to travel and meet people, we only bring out animals who are comfortable and healthy for the public to meet

Important Disclaimers and Requirements

  • By booking Hands on Exotics you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the requirements, conditions, and risks found here: Important Disclaimers
  • Credit card payments are preferred, and business cheques must be addressed to Hands on Exotics
  • Payments must include a receipt with the invoice number so we know who paid us and for which visit (this has been a huge difficulty for us with some of the larger nursing home chains for which we do hundreds of visits a year).
  • Please have all participants wash or disinfect their hands after the presentation.
  • Please avoid serving food during the presentation. This is party for sanitation reasons, but also due to the fact that the animal’s behavior changes with food around and they may get into food that is harmful to them.