The Pets & People Foundation has never charged for our visits nor asked volunteers for membership fees. All our volunteers are covered by our $2,000,000 insurance policy (which we’ve never had to use!), and as such we ask all volunteers to attend an orientation session and go through our screening program as detailed below.
All prospective volunteers must attend an Orientation Session prior to participating in the screening process described below. Orientations are usually held twice a month on Saturday mornings. Wednesday orientations can be arranged as needed. See the Contact page for information on scheduling an orientation. If requesting to attend an orientation, please be patient. We are often receiving many requests for orientations, and can only accomodate a limited number of interested parties at any one time.
Each volunteer participates in a five-step program before becoming a regular visitor. As noted above, volunteers must attend an Orientation Session prior to participating in the screening process. Upcoming screening dates are listed to the right.
Please BRING COPIES of the latest rabies and health certificates for your pets (Pets & People will keep these).
You should also identify two or three facilities, e.g., nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care, etc., within ten to fifteen minutes from your home that you might like to visit with your pet.
1. Orientation/Volunteer Shadowing
Prospective volunteers are asked to shadow an experienced volunteer through a nursing home to understand the relationships which her or she is likely to experience when making future visits.
2. Testing/Pet Screening
Copies of a dog or cat’s rabies and health certificates must be filed with the volunteer coordinator at this time. Each dog is screened by an experienced dog trainer to determine if the animal is suitable for our program. A seminar on pet visitations is given at this time. Dogs must be able to heel and sits should occur with dog parallel to the handler’s body with the dog facing forward (NOT at a 90 degree turn so as to face the handler). The owner must exhibit control and the pet must seem to relate well to both people and other animals. For more details on the test, follow the links for the dog or the cat test.
3. Facility Selection
The volunteer is asked to select two or three facilities within ten to fifteen minutes drive of his/her home that would be suitable to visit.
4. Appointment Set-Up
The Pets & People program coordinator calls the facility selected to make an appointment for the volunteer’s first visit. On this visit the volunteer will be accompanied by a Pets and People board member.
5. Initial Visit
Finally, a member of the board, the volunteer, and the pet make their first visit together. A meeting is held with the Activities Director and arrangements are made for the times, dates, and frequency of future volunteer visits. Both the volunteer and the Activities Director are encouraged to call the coordinator at any future time with questions or suggestions.