Pets For Therapy

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Pets for Therapy

Our aim is to give
Joy, Love and Laughter


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It is with deep sadness that we must inform you that Yvonne Cody passed away peacefully in March 19, 2021


Yvonne will be missed and long remembered for her selfless 26 years of dedication, running her Pets For Therapy service.


Rest in Peace dear Yvonne


To view the recorded lifestream of Yvonne's life celebration,

please click> Funeral Service


Yvonne and Misty



Welcome to Pets for Therapy



My name is Yvonne Cody and I have been conducting my "Pets for Therapy" volunteering program on the Gold Coast for 26 years.


Pets for Therapy started in 1989

with a little snow white poodle called Jo Jo, dressed up for Christmas




Initially I provided this service alone with my little white poodle "Jo Jo". Due to ever increasing demand for our service I have recruited and utilized the assistance of many dedicated volunteers and their equally dedicated dogs...........

Pets For Therapy (P.F.T.)
is unique in that it facilitates the provision of therapeutic, loving and caring visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, and schools, by volunteers with their friendly, temperamentally suitable, obedience trained and qualified dogs.


Our dogs range in breeds and size from the tiny to the large so there's always a dog to suit everyone's taste!


Every week these calm friendly dogs give many people, both young and old, the chance to stroke and talk to them. The dogs perform basic obedience, agility and tricks, however it's the hands on

and interaction with both dogs and handlers that brings the rewards...

Pets For Therapy logoDue to declining health Yvonne will be retiring, and the Pets For Therapy will cease after 26 years at the end of 2015


Yvonne's Farewell Speech


My dear friends and fellow Pets for Therapy volunteers, it is indeed a very strange sensation being here before you today. I can’t really believe that this day has come, when effectively our 26 year partnership is coming to an end.


Thank you everyone for coming today, it means so much to me. And I am so proud of your performances today in the volunteer parade – as always, you have brought smiles to faces.


Obviously we have too much history to mention everything, but I can’t let today go past, without paying tribute to my fellow founder .


You’ve all heard the story of the origins of Pets For Therapy -  and you know of my deep love for Jo Jo,  without whom our 26 years of service would not have come about.


The struggles we had in the early years, working out of carparks, without airconditioning, and often witnessing dreadful conditions in some of the older nursing homes -  there were times when I would question myself as to what we were doing ?


But with Jo Jo’s support, and seeing how much he himself loved the visits, I could overlook my own distress, and when I saw the joy and smiles on people’s faces when we entered the rooms, it was this that  helped me carry on ,  and build the group to what it has become.

All dogs are special, and Misty has no lesser place in my heart, but Jo Jo as you know, was a truly exceptional dog.  Evidence of the public’s love and respect for Jo Jo, can be seen on the park bench seat plaque, and the boab tree planted in James Overell park in Southport, by the Gold Coast Council.

Over the years I have spent thousands of hours presenting shows, training  dogs, making costumes and gifts.  As time went on, being supported and assisted by such a loyal and dedicated team of volunteers really contributed to our success. This is apparent by the honours and awards we received, and the thousands of heart rending thank you notes from people over these 26 years.

A key quality of you, our volunteers, is the understanding and compassion we all show, in making each resident feel special. Without a doubt you have all made a valuable contribution to the overall wellbeing of not only the elderly, but also the many youngsters and others, overcoming difficult challenges in life.

Over the years I have also made many regular personal visits, at the request of families, to people living outside of care facilities and many of these have become lifetime friends.

I cannot even begin to thank each individual here today  - Volunteers, friends of Pets For Therapy, Sponsors and Journalists.  But I am going to single out just a few people: Frank and Cavell Boggs - I thank you from the bottom of my heart for organising this wonderful event, Paula Edrich for continuing the canine training classes in my absence, my neighbour and friend Joanne’s love and care for Misty, and lastly to the staff and management of Coolibah Downs for making us so welcome for all these years.

The benefits I have encountered over the years are numerous – the smiles, joy love and laughter have made it all worth while.

You can judge the heart of man by his love of animals.  That’s us, that’s why we are here today.

Misty and I just want to say , Thank you.


Pets For Therapy Expo Misty


Car donated by FSGCar donated by FSG



Four Legged Friends Connect a Community


Kind support on the Gold Coast has kept some very special four legged friends on the road to provide an invaluable therapeutic program to people who are frail with age.



The Pets for Therapy program and Yvonne Cody
have been honoured to receive the following awards:

  1. Moncrieff Community Award  ( April 2000 )

  2. Tropicarnival Award for Community Service  ( 2000 )

  3. Rotary  Club of Southport  and The Gold Coast Sun  Courtesy Award  ( 2001 )

  4. Nominated International Volunteer Award  (  2002  )

  5. Gold Coast Bulletin Silver Pin  (  2003  )

  6. Gold Coast Volunteer of  The Year  (  2004  )

  7. Nominated  International  Volunteer  Award  (  2005  )

  8. Certificate of Appreciation for supporting The Leaukaemia Foundation 2006          

  9. Mudgeeraba Qld Day Award for Community Service 2006

  10. Courtesy & Kindness Award  from The Rotary Club of  Southport & the Gold Coast Sun 2006

  11. Gold Coast Honours Award for Community Service 2006

  12. Nominated for the Paws & Claws Award 2007 for the Biggest Heart.

  13. International Volunteers Day 2007

  14. Nominated for the Paws & Claws Award 2008

  15. Nominated for the Paws & Claws biggest heart award ( 2007) (2008)

  16. Broadwater Qld Day Award 2008

  17. International Volunteers Awards Special Peoples Choice Award ( 2009)

  18. Nominated Gold Coast Citizen of the Year Award G.C.C.C. Australia Day Awards 2010

  19. G.C.C.C Australia Day Award for 21 years service to the G.C. Community (2010)




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