Offering pet therapy for children and the elderly is a charitable purpose, IRS says privately. An organization solicits people to take their therapy dogs on visits to hospitals and nursing homes at no cost to the patient or the facility. Because the pet therapy sessions are intended to improve patients’ well-being, lessen distress and encourage socialization, the activity qualifies for tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) charity. Donors can deduct contributions they make to the group.