Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

 December 2018
Volume 18, Issue 2

Take Note! 
Spring 2019
Visit Confirmation
The 2019 Spring visit schedule  
is now on the web site.  
Be sure to confirm your Spring visits 
no later than 
December 15th
  New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, June 8, 2019
10:00am to 12:00pm
Saturday, July 13, 2019
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, November 2, 2019
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Harahan Senior Center
100 Elodie
Pre-registration required
Contact Claire Sommers at [email protected] 
to register

Pet/Handler Evaluation

January 5, 2019

Saturday, July 27, 2019

 Harahan Senior Center
    100 Elodie
 Pre-registration required
Barbara Hyland

to register at
[email protected]  
 if you would like to have an additional pet tested .

Reading To Rover
  On the East Bank
   Held on the third Tuesday of each month at the East Bank Regional Library
 4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie
 Contact Fay Schultz
 to confirm your slot at Reading To Rov er

Holly Lambert Mars retired 

They joined the VPP in 2014 and were regulars at Magnolia School and Children's Hospital.

Fay Schultz 

Mozart joined the VPP in 2007 and was a regular at St Margaret's, Waldon and Reading to Rover. 
Mozart also participated in the Ochsner Pet Program.  Fay continues to visit with Betty Boop and Lil Bit.  

Sabrina Jacks

Evangeline joined the VPP in 2014 and was a regular at
Chateau de Notre Dame. 
Sabrina will continue to volunteer with Voodoo.  
Sabrina shared the following 
"Evangeline greatly enjoyed her time with the Visiting Pet Program. She loved dressing up and going out to make new friends at each visit. She particularly loved Camp Tiger and any visits with kids."

Our Deepest Sympathies
Brenda Chetta,  who lost her beloved dog Molly.  

Molly joined the VPP in 2010 and retired in 2015.  She was a regular at Chateau Living.  

 Quick Links



It's hard to believe another year is almost over. Seems like yesterday was Halloween and tomorrow is the New Year! It all happens so quickly. Thank you for all that you do to make our year go smoothly. Your professionalism and dedication to our mission is what makes the VPP so successful.

Mark your calendars now for our volunteer appreciation picnic and annual meeting.
.. known as Tara's Toast to Volunteers! Our 2019 date is Sunday, March 10th from 1pm-3pm at our favorite location, The Kamp on Hickory Avenue in Harahan.  We'll send more details in the event invitation but, for now, save the date! Bring the family including your VPP dog. Adult beverages will be available for purchase at the event!

Have wonderful holidays and the happiest of New Years as you embark on your visits for 2019 and the VPP enters it's 32nd
 year of service.
Lee Gaffney

Four Paw Salute

Barbara Hyland would like to thank members of the Buddy Program who joined her in assisting with the probationary pet visits from the July'18 evaluation. This was a larger group than usual and everyone was enthusiastic in guiding the new handlers.
Buddy members included Jeannette Albert, Diana Alcazar O'Dowd, Mike Azzarello, Connie Back, Linda Bauer, Pam Bellone, Brenda Becnel, Brenda Chetta, Creevy Clay, Leslie Davis, Lee Gaffney, Jerry Gibel, Lori Haeuser, Dawn Hagmann, Malay Hajra, Kimberley Clayton Hamlen, Kevin Hand, Delia Hardie, Bob Klare, Marcia Legendre, Denise Mehurin, Nicole Parks, Helen Schneidau, Fay Schultz, Diane Smith, Claire Sommers, Monica Stephens, Joy Sturtevant and Nancy Tatarski. In addition, the following members assisted with observation visits: Rita Bezou, Suzanne Christensen, Bruce Galbraith, Sabrina Jacks, Donna Williams and Cathy & Toby Young.
A thank you is extended to all members who helped to welcome the new volunteers.

Amazing Facts about Therapy Pets

  1. Pets help recovery from heart attacks. 421 adults found that dog owners had a better one-year survival after a heart attack, compared to those who did not own dogs.
  2. Pets help us calm down. A study of 240 married couples showed that pet owners had lower heart rates and blood pressure as compared to those without pets.
  3. Pets help reduce stress better than our human companions. Pet owners had less stress and quicker recovery from stress when they were with their pets as compared to when they were with their spouse or friend.
  4. Pet owners have less obesity. A study looking at 2,000 adults found that pet owners who walked their dogs had less rates of obesity and were more physically active than those without pets.
  5. Pet owners have better mobility in their golden years. Another study looking at 2,500 adults aged 71-82 showed that adults who regularly walked their dogs had more mobility inside the house than non-pet owners.
  6. Pets increase opportunities for socialization. Many studies have shown that walking a dog leads to more conversations and socialization.
  7. Pets can help your cholesterol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that owning a pet can decrease cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
  8. Pets can help comfort children. Child psychologists have found that pets can be very comforting to children and help them develop empathy. They have also been found to help autistic children with socialization.

(source:  http://www.pawtyme.ca)
Guardian Angels

A donation was received from
  Barbara Hyland
in memory of
Brenda Chetta's dog, 

An anonymous donation was received at
Boxers, Brews and BBQ
A donation was received from 
Fay and Bill Schultz 
                               in  honor of their dog, 
About the Visiting Pet Program

The Visiting Pet Program is an all volunteer 501 (C)(3) non-profit animal assisted therapy organization serving Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.

For the past 32 years, the volunteers of the VPP have lived up to their motto of "Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles" to the residents of nursing homes and hospitals.

Our literacy project, Reading to Rover, offers young readers the opportunity to practice their reading aloud skills to the gentle therapy dogs.

If you would like to make a donation to the Visiting Pet Program, please click on the button below or mail your check to P. O. Box 24748,New Orleans, LA 70184-4748. Please note if your donation is in memory of a person or a pet. We will be happy to send an acknowledgment of your donation to the family. Please include the name and address to send the acknowledgment. Because we are a 501(C)(3) organization, your donation is tax deductible. We are an all volunteer organization. Your donation goes directly to the support of our mission.
Thank you