Looking for answers? Most questions can be answered instantly by checking out the FAQ's below. If you do not see your question feel free to send us a message through the contact page! We value your membership and we are always here to help!

Animals with either passive or assertive personalities can work well in the nursing home, but shy, fearful or rambunctious ones would be best left at home. Your evaluation of your pet’s temperament should be your guide as to how it will adjust to the visits. Since your pet will be introduced to a new environment which could prove stressful, scary or uncomfortable, you may want to evaluate its reactions by simulating the conditions encountered in the facility, for instance, a nursing home. There will be new odors, walkers and wheelchairs, machines that make unusual noises, food crumbs on laps and floors and feeble hands might not know their own strength or weakness. Before or at your first visit, the coordinator at the facility you will be visiting will evaluate your pet for its suitability in that environment.

A copy of your pet’s vaccination record must be on file with the Pet-A-Pet Club. Please bring a copy to your first visit. Your pet should be as well-groomed as it is well-mannered. Have the nails trimmed. Make sure the coat is clean, brushed and flea-free. Allow enough time for exercise and toilet activities before the visit. Cats should be transported in a carrier, which can also serve as sanctuary if needed. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. The size of the animal will determine if it is to be hand-held or placed on a lap. If you have a lap-sized animal, please bring a towel to cover laps.

The visits are planned in advance and then entered into each facility’s activities calendar. This enables the staff, residents and you to know that a Pet-A-Pet visit is scheduled on the same day of a given week each month.

We hope that you will attend as many regular visits as possible. The patients and residents look forward to seeing our volunteers. Should you find that you cannot make a visit as scheduled, please notify your coordinator.

Your visits are more important than you realize! Your pet will be the center of attention and should enjoy the new environment. You will make new friendships and hear some interesting stories. If you feel the visits are not benefiting you, your pet or the clients, please talk with your coordinator or the activities director. We want your experience to be both comfortable and rewarding.

We welcome supporting members who register as such. Your monetary donation will provide needed funds. Also, please visit our Fund Raising page to see other ways to support the Pet-A-Pet Club. You may also assist us at special events by greeting potential volunteers and explaining our program. For more information please contact our registrar or a coordinator in your area.

If you would like to visit more than one facility or a different facility, or change dates, contact your coordinator for alternate locations and times which may be convenient.

The visits are scheduled to last one hour. Depending on the size of the facility, the visit may be slightly longer or shorter.

The primary mandatory vaccination is for rabies, as required by the state. Additional vaccinations depend on your pet’s health, your veterinarian’s recommendations and your personal decisions. It is your responsibility to keep vaccinations up to date and provide a current copy to your coordinator. It is advised that your pet have a fecal check each year and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine.

You may register more than one pet, but only one at a time may be handled by a volunteer. If you would like to bring more than one pet to a visit, you may ask a family member or friend to accompany you to handle the additional pet.

You must be in control of your pet at all times. Watch your pet for signs of boredom and fatigue, since the warmth and excitement can be tiring. Staff persons will be on hand to guide your visit, make introductions and let you know special needs, but you should remind them that your pet is your responsibility. Should you observe a medical problem, ask for help immediately.

Be ready with a gentle reminder should any client become overly rough in his/her treatment of your pet or hold it too tightly. Remove the pet if your guidance is ignored. Some people will not want to see or handle your pet; try not to feel bad. Others will not want your pet to move on to other clients; you must be firm but gentle. You may hear the same story over and over. The remembrance of a pet may cause some people to cry, laugh or become quiet. Do not feel embarrassed to empathize with them.

It is our intention for the program to be as rewarding for you, the volunteer, and your pet, as it is for the individuals you are visiting. Please feel free to discontinue your visits at any time, if you feel uncomfortable. Your initial visits may start out to be emotionally draining, but as your relationship with the people or certain individuals grows, these visits can become an enriching aspect of your life. We also want the best for your pet. Even though the visits may be worthwhile for the humans involved, be conscious of your pet’s reception to this attention. It may react negatively to the new sights, smells, sounds and constant handling. If your pet becomes bored, unfriendly or unruly, please remove it from the environment at once and contact your coordinator. Remember: you know your pet best and we want you both to enjoy the experience.

The Pet-A-Pet Club does not provide private, one-on-one visits. For liability reasons our teams make only scheduled group visits at the request of a health care facility.