As the holidays approach, we look forward to
during this joyful time of year. Feel free
to dress your
dog or cat for the season. A ruffled collar,
Santa hat, or
other holiday wear will help your pet
holidays. The residents and patients will
seeing their little visitors in their holiday
Our New Pet/Handler Evaluation will
on Saturday, January 10th at the Harahan Senior
Center. The evaluation team is ready for the
look forward to the new volunteers and pets
be entering the training/probationary phase.
training workshop for pets and handlers that
evaluation will be held on Saturday, January 17.
The January-May, 2009 schedule is
the website. Please note that due to Mardi Gras
parades, holidays, and special events, such
VPP Annual Picnic, visit dates for many
have been changed. Be sure to consult the
for your visiting dates! We will be off for
taking a well deserved rest, and will resume
Thank you for your continued
commitment to the VPP. Have a wonderful
winter-spring visiting season.
Schedule for Spring 2009
To Joyce to schedule your visits
To the web site
Pet Program web site
|Reading to Rover Needs You
Tammy listens intently as a young
reader shares a story at a recent Reading to
Rover event. Handler Dot McIntyre looks
Often we hear from new
recruits "I really
work with children." There is no better
do just that than by participating in one of
to Rover events.
Reading to Rover was originally created in June,
2000, as a literacy project to help improve
out loud skills of beginning readers. Reading
to the non-judgmental therapy dogs helps
build a poor
reader's confidence and improves overall reading
skills. These events are wonderful
share the unconditional love of the dogs with
who have reading problems or who may not have a
pet of their own.
Our goal in developing the program was, of
course, to improve literacy. In addition to
goal, there have been two unexpected, but
outcomes from the RTR experience. First, the
absolutely LOVE participating. They can't get
of the kids
and their overwhelming snuggles. And there's the
treat that follows each book, certainly an
in the eyes of the dogs. The other bonus? Humane
Education. Many of the youngsters we meet have
never been around friendly, affectionate,
calm dogs. Some of the children are initially
but with a little patience and education
about how to
introduce themselves and behave around the
kids quickly become eager participants.
When asked about the outcomes of the
Rover program, Andrea Heingarten, Children's
Librarian at the East Bank Regional Library,
noted "Reading to Rover is a wonderful
promotes literacy in a fun way. It gives the
great opportunity to practice their reading
skills in a
non-school setting, without having to worry
reading incorrectly. Reading to Rover is one
most popular programs. We have as many as 15
children show up to read to the dogs. Most of
make it a point to read to each dog that
even wait until specific dogs become
available on the
waiting list. The kids, parents, library
and dogs all seem to enjoy it a great
Reading to Rover events are held monthly on both
sides of the river. On the East Bank, RTR is
the third Tuesday of each month at the East Bank
Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon in
6:30pm-7:30pm. On the West Bank, the Harvey
2751 Manhattan Blvd., hosts RTR on the second
Sunday of each month from 2:00pm-3:00pm. Special
events with the STAIR program (Start
Reading) and Literacy Nights at area schools
frequently on our agenda.
Volunteers are always needed at these events.
library locations have a loyal following of
don't like to wait for a turn to read. The
more dogs the
better! There are always plenty of kids and
books to go
around. If you've ever thought you might like to
participate, now is the time to do it. No
are needed. The seasoned volunteers will
through your first RTR experience. There is
obligation, just go when you can. Confirm
with our Reading to Rover Coordinator, Fay
835-9571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
to Rover event on your schedule now! You and
dog will be glad you did.
|Safety Reminders for Your Pet During the Holidays
Don't feed pets turkey/ roasts/ ham or their
gravy/drippings. Human food is too rich and can
cause health problems. Rich, fatty foods,
like gravy or
grease, can cause problems ranging from stomach
upsets to inflammation of the pancreas
resulting in vomiting, and dehydration. Dogs with this
condition often require hospitalization for
Please, please don't feed your pets bones,
any bones from the turkey carcass. Poultry
splinter easily, form sharp points and lodge
throat, gums or the roof of the mouth,
problems, including infection. Chocolate
substance called methylxanthines. Problems from
eating chocolate range from vomiting/diarrhea to
abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and death.
Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate
are the worst culprits, but all chocolate,
other candy should be placed out of your
If your pets eat uncooked yeast dough it can
and produce gas in the digestive system, causing
pain and possible intestinal blockage or
Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Ingestion may
result in macadamia nut toxicosis. Vomiting and
hyperthermia are initial symptoms with
ataxia or hind-limb paresis within 12 hours of
ingestion. Artificial sweeteners; If dogs eat
sweetened with xylitol it can result in a a
in blood sugar, and they usually begin vomiting,
become lethargic and can have difficulty
walking. Some have seizures, develop internal
hemorrhaging and lesions and suffer liver
Amaryllis ingestion can cause vomiting,
diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation,
and tremors. Lilies are commonly found in
flower arrangements and can be deadly to your
Many types of lily, including Tiger, Easter, and
Stargazer, can cause kidney failure in cats when
ingested. Mistletoe ingestion usually only
gastrointestinal upset. But it also has the
cause cardiovascular problems. Holly
cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Poinsettia are not toxic, but ingestion can
to the mouth and stomach, and may cause mild
vomiting or nausea.
Make sure your Christmas tree is in a stable
and you might want to anchor the tree
securely to a
window or wall with heavy cord or fish line.
cats or active dogs can easily cause a tree
to fall over.
Make sure your cat or dog is always
in a room with a tree. The preservatives used in
Christmas trees are often sugar-based (and
cats and dogs). The stagnant water in a tree
can contain harmful bacteria. In addition
insecticides, and flame retardants that may
been used on the tree can leech into the
the tree stand base with a screen and tree
block your pet from drinking the water.
***** If you suspect that your pet has eaten
toxic, call your veterinarian and/or the
Poison Control Center's 24-hour emergency
Tinsel, ribbons, yarn, and string can cause
obstruction and bunching of the intestine
length of the string. These conditions
and can be fatal. Decorations/Ornaments; keep
ornaments out of reach. To a playful cat or
look like toys and can end up in a million
cutting your pet's mouth or paws. Lights;
electrical cord and light cords can cause
ranging from burned mouths, to electrical
death. Unplug decorative lights/extension
you are not there to supervise. Potpourri;
both essential oils and cationic detergents
irritate the gums and intestinal tract. Skin
can result in pain, redness, swelling and
can also develop vomiting, breathing
blood pressure or weakness.
Your pet might not be used to guests and your
might not be used to
Frequently pets are creatures of habit and don't
appreciate having their schedule changed or
strangers in their house. If other people
and all of the
holiday commotion stress your pet be sure to
them with a quiet private area to rest and
relax. If your
guests are not pet people, You need to be
about open doors and gates. People that are
savvy will not understand the importance of
doors/gates and your pet could easily slip
all of the commotion. On this note, make sure
is Always wearing its collar and a current ID
an extra effort to spend time with your pet and
maintain their daily schedule. Be sure to
exercise your pet on their regular schedule.
And then there is New Year's Eve
Be very, very careful during firework
please, please keep your pets indoors during
fireworks and make sure doors/windows are not
open. The sudden loud noises and flashing
can cause your pet to run away in terror. A
thrown firecracker or other firework could
result in a
terrible injuries or death.
These are just a few things to consider
holidays. Keeping your pet safe during the
really a common sense thing. Consider your pet's
age, temperament and level of activity. With
luck, some careful planning and thoughtful
consideration your holiday will not include a
trip to the
|I Rescued A Human Today
I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor
peering apprehensively into the kennels.
I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.
I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't
As she stopped at my kennel
I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the
back of my cage.
I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked
Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I
didn't want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card
I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past.
I only have the future to look forward to and want to
make a difference in someone's life.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy
sounds at me.
I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against
the bars to comfort her.
Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was
desperate for companionship.
A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to
assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so
bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.
I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that
radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.
So many more are out there who haven't walked the
So many more to be saved.
At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.
was given by Bill & Fay Schultz
in memory of
in loving memory of
in memory of
A donation was received
A donation was made by
in memory of
Marcia Legendre's cat
A donation was received
Mina Lea Crais
in memory of
beloved dog of
Mrs. A.J. Chauvin
|About the Visiting Pet Program
The Visiting Pet Program
is an all
(C)(3) non-profit animal assisted therapy
organization serving Orleans, Jefferson and St.
For the past 22 years, the volunteers of the
lived up to their motto of "Bringing Love and
Smiles" to the residents of nursing homes and
Our literacy project, Reading
offers young readers the opportunity to practice
their reading aloud skills to the gentle therapy
If you would like to make a donation to
the Visiting Pet Program, please click on the
below or mail your check to 5831 S. Johnson
New Orleans, LA 70125. Please note if your
is in memory of a person or a pet. We will be
to send an acknowledgment of your donation to the
family. Please include the name and address
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.
Saturday, January 10th
Harahan Senior Center
Kleinfeldt if you would like to have an
New Pet/Handler Workshop
2pm - 4pm
Harahan Senior Center
Remember that every volunteer MUST
be recertified every 2 years.
Contact Rebecca Breaud to attend
985-796-1988 or email@example.com
VPP Annual Meeting and Family
Mark your calendar now
and plan to bring the
to the VPP picnic.
Sunday, March 22nd
On the East Bank
Held on the third Tuesday of each
at the East Bank Regional Library
4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie
On the West Bank
Held on the second Sunday of each month
2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey
Events are now being planned in conjunction
STAIR program. Please contact Fay for
times and locations
Contact Fay Schultz
to confirm your slot at any of these
who lost her beloved Australian
in October. Rusty had
pet since June, 1999, and was a regular
Infirmary. Rusty will be deeply missed by all
Our deepest sympathies to Dorlene on the loss