Volunteers' Voice News for and about the Visiting Pet Program
October 2009 Volume 9, Issue 2

September brought us our annual fall Pet/Handler Evaluation. We evaluated 35 dogs and 2 cats. We accepted 28 dogs and 2 cats. Of the 35 dogs, only 6 dogs were given Not Ready and one Not Suitable.

We took in 11 new volunteers. Eight current volunteers had new dogs evaluated. Be sure to read about everyone in our Meet the New Volunteers column.

Our Fall visit schedule is posted on the web site. If you have not already given me your November and December visit dates, please do so ASAP. I need to know your plans for each individual month. You can call me at 866-2532, email at corgigal311@bellsouth.net, or fax me at 866-8920, or use the on -line confirmation form. Be sure to check it out on the "schedules" page of the web site.

Thank you for your commitment to VPP and service to the community. I hope you and your beloved pet have a wonderful visiting season in the fall.

Program Coordinator

Quick Links
Visit Schedule for Fall 2009

To Joyce to schedule your visits

To the web site
Visiting Pet Program web site

In This Issue
  • Message from the President
  • Meet the New Volunteers

  • Message from the President

    I want to say a Big Thank You to all of the Visiting Pet Program volunteers that have renewed their membership for another year. The VPP is soooo lucky to have such great volunteers (2 & 4 legged) "Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles" to residents in nursing homes and patients in hospitals.

    In addition, I would like to extend a sincere welcome to all of the new volunteers that just completed their evaluation in September. You might get a chance to meet some of these new volunteers as they attend their probationary visits. Please join us in making them feel welcome.

    The other thing I want to mention is... let's all make a good impression. Sometimes when we have been doing things for awhile, we let some of the rules slide. I know I have been guilty of this at times. But that's just between you and me, don't let anyone else know.

    The new volunteers have recently attended their new Pet/Handler Workshop and received their training manual. The training manual covers expected appearance and behavior of pets and people, arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow the pet to become comfortable with the surroundings and to meet the other dogs, proper dog greetings, picking up after your dog, as well as room, hallway and doorway etiquette.

    If you are like me and you always visit the same facility, with the same people, with the same pets, we get used to everybody and they get used to us. With the addition of new members and their pets, all of us need to be aware of our behavior. It would be great if we could all give the new members good role models to imitate.

    I am looking forward to another year of visiting and am happy that all of you will be visiting right along with me.

    Claire Sommers

    Meet the New Volunteers

    Aimee Bonomolo with Rebel, the Shepherd Mix. Aimee is employed with Morgan Stanley. Aimee's interest in the VPP is first-hand as a member of her family is a resident of Malta Park and loves the pet visits. Rebel loves to say hello to everyone with his paw and has a calm disposition.

    Debra Depp with Precious, the Maltese. Debra enjoys entertaining and being with her family. She and Precious enjoy walks in the neighborhood and meeting people. Precious weighs 13 pounds and loves to be held.

    Kelly Fay with Smokey, Lab/Corgi Mix. Kelly is not only a New Orleans firefighter, she is also a registered nurse. When time permits she loves to hike, run and knit. She volunteers as an animal care taker at a local shelter. Smokey loves people and is a unique dog. He has been influential in helping raise foster kittens, from bottle babies on up. He likes dogs, too.

    Brenda Hardin with Honey, the Maltese. Brenda is a student at Delgado and is employed with Brooke Temp. Services. She is an artist who also enjoys gardening and dancing. Honey loves to sit on a lap and be petted. Both Brenda and Honey are familiar with a nursing home setting due to visiting a family member.

    Meri Krepps with Dasher, the Italian Greyhound. Meri is an active volunteer with STAIR. Both Meri and Dasher love to meet people and the staff at Tuesday Morning love their visits. Dasher is a happy dog and interacts well with everyone.

    Shawn McCreary with Lola, the Golden Retriever. Shawn recently moved to Metairie from Orlando. She has volunteered with Freedom Ride, a riding program for the disabled. She is active in her daughter's school and 4-H. Lola loves belly rubs and loves to do tricks. Lola is very comfortable with the public and traveling as she has accompanied the family to horse shows for many years.

    Terry Miller with Jolie,the Standard Poodle. Terry is the practice administrator for a clinical and forensic psychologist. She has also participated in and coordinated volunteer programs for many organizations throughout the US including hospitals, nursing homes and VA Rehab Centers. Jolie is extremely gentle and fun-loving. From an early age Jolie has interacted with children and adults.

    Jennifer Mueller with Chloe, the Weimaraner and Mattie, the Dachshund. Jennifer is a Biology teacher at Northshore High School in Slidell. Jennifer experienced additional insight on the benefits of pet therapy while working with the Zoomobile for homebound patients. Chloe and Mattie are both affectionate and love to be petted. They also enjoy dog parades.

    Kathline Malone with Cayanne, the Golden Retriever. Kathline is a claims adjuster for Gray Insurance. She is active with Junior League. Cayanne likes Yappy hour, going for walks and meeting the public.

    Waynette Norman with Lulu, the Beagle. Waynette is a retired medical technologist and volunteers with the SPCA and Best Friends. She also enjoys painting and reading. Lulu is calm and very friendly. She loves going to the Farmers Market and Petsmart.

    Mary-Elizabeth Paltron with Beulah, Mixed Breed. Mary-Elizabeth is an attorney for the Sewerage & Water Board. She is a volunteer at St. Francis of Assisi Church as well as with a neighborhood group. Beulah was adopted by Mary-Elizabeth when her previous owner died five years ago. Beulah is friendly and loves to be petted.

    Pam Pearce with Lucy, the Golden Retriever. Pam recently moved back home and resides in Mandeville to be closer to her parents. She works from her home. Lucy is outgoing and loves it when Pam arranges a play date with a neighbor's dog. Both enjoy walks in the neighborhood.

    Joan Rey with Sueling, the Shih Tzu. Joan is a retired registered nurse. Her many volunteer activities include Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful, NOMA and garden clubs. Sueling loves being petted. She is always ready to meet family members and new friends.

    Ginell Roper with Tatoo, the Dachshund/Corgi Mix. Ginell is currently taking medical assistant classes. She is a member of HSUS. Tatoo is outgoing and loves attention. He is affectionate and always ready to meet new people.

    Diane Staples with McKenzie (Mac), the Weimaraner. Diane has a degree in Speech Pathology and has worked in many settings, including hospitals and nursing homes. Her hobbies include gardening and knitting. Mac is very calm, good disposition. He loves to go to Petsmart, picnics and Barkus.

    Tere Walsh with Yaeger, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Tere is a registered nurse at Doctor's Hospital in Slidell in the surgical recovery room. Her many hobbies include gardening, crafts and baking. Yaeger is very social and loves people. He likes to smile and enjoys visits to Petsmart and parks.

    Vicki Vega with Mimi, the Mix Breed. Vicki works for an Italian oil company where she runs economics on exploration prospects and development projects. Her hobbies include working with stained glass and she enjoys reading. Mimi is a happy dog and loves to sit on your lap. Mimi gets along very well with other dogs


    Rebecca Breaud with Lily Beth, the Labrador Retriever. Rebecca, a retired teacher, is presently training dogs. Rebecca is active with the VPP and looking forward to visiting facilities on the Northshore with Lily Beth. Lily Beth is lovable, gentle and extremely friendly. She loves to go to the Farmers Market.

    Jerry Gibel with Tancuj, the Slovensky Cuvac. Jerry has retired after thirty five years in the restaurant industry. He acquired Tancuj from a breeder in Slovakia. Tancuj is friendly and will make new friends with her outgoing manner. She loves people and playing with other pets.


    A donation
    was received from
    Marcia Voors
    in memory of
    Dr. Adrie Voors' dogs,
    Boo Boo

    Donations were received
    in loving memory of
    Nell Lipscpmb's retired dog,
    Claire Sommers
    Carrie Neyland.

    A donation was received from
    Helen Schneidau
    in memory of her cat,

    A donation was received
    in loving memory of
    Nell Lipscomb's dog,
    James Evans.

    A donation
    was received from
    Fay Scultz
    in memory of
    Reginald Salisbury.

    A donation was received from
    Patricia and James Evans
    in memory of Carrie Neyland's dog,

    A donation was received from
    Mina Lea Crais
    in memory of John Ward's and Les Gaudeau's dog,

    A donation was received from
    Lee and Tom Gaffney

    in memory of Ethan Lae's dog,

    A donation was received from
    Mina Lea Crais
    in memory of Henry and Diane Kleinfeldt's dog,

    A donation was received from
    Lee and Tom Gaffney
    in memory of
    Ruth Anne Davison Boothe.

    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 22 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 5831 S. Johnson Street, New Orleans, LA 70125. 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

    Take Note!


    New Volunteer Orientation

    Saturday, October 24th, 2009
    2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Harahan Senior Center
    100 Elodie
    Pre-registration required
    Contact Claire Sommers to register at paws4visits@gmail.com
    504- 432-8349

    Pet/Handler Evaluation

    Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    Harahan Senior Center
    100 Elodie
    Pre-registration required
    Contact Claire Sommers to register at paws4visits@gmail.com
    504- 432-8349
    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

    On the West Bank
    Held on the second Sunday of each month
    2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey
    from 2:00pm-3:00pm

    Events are now being planned in conjunction with the STAIR program. Please contact Fay for upcoming times and locations

    Contact Fay Schultz
    or 504-835-9571
    to confirm your slot at any of these
    Reading To Rover

    Animal Expo
    Delgado Community College
    Saturday, October 17
    from 11am to 4pm
    at the City Park campus. Admission to this event is free and open to the public. VPP will have a booth at the event. Questions? Call Lee Gaffney at 671-5640

    Quick Links...

    Visiting Pet Program Web site

    Monthly Schedules for Fall 2009

    Help VPP by shopping through IGive

    Shop for great therapy dog books at Dogwise

    phone: 504-866-2532 Fax: 504-866-9823

    Email Marketing by