Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

February 2013 Volume 12, Issue 4

Take Note! 







 Volunteer Appreciation Picnic


 Sunday, March 3, 2012



 Kenner Veterans Park

1925 Williams Blvd

Kenner, LA 70065


 Mark Your Calendar

 Register Here   





Summer Seminars


It is time to plan our summer continuing education workshops.

Your input with ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Email Lee Gaffney with ideas at paws4visits@gmail.com







New Volunteer Orientation

June 15, 2013

 10:00am to 12:00 pm


July 14, 2013

2:00pm to 4:00 pm

October 19, 2013

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


 Harahan Senior Center

 100 Elodie

  Pre-registration required

Contact Claire Sommers at paws4visits@gmail.com to register





Pet/Handler Evaluation

September 7, 2013


January 4, 2014


 Harahan Senior Center

   100 Elodie

 Pre-registration required

Contact Barbara Hyland to register at

 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


 to confirm your slot at any of these Reading To Rover






Our Deepest Sympathies


Lee and Tommy Gaffney
who lost their beloved Gaffneyhound
Meghan Clare

Meghan Clare joined the VPP in 2000 and retired in September 2012. She was a regular visitor at John Hainkel Home

and to
Cindy Baucum
who lost her precious Pomeranian,
Cindy and Bijou
joined the VPP in 2008 and Bijou retired in 2012. They visited regularly at Ochsner.
Our deepest sympathies to

Lee, Tommy, and Cindy

for the loss of their precious pets. 


 Quick Links

  Visiting Pet Program


  Monthly Schedules for Spring 2013 


  Help VPP by shopping through IGive


  Shop for great therapy dog books at Dogwise




Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.                                                                                - Roger Caras  


So true. My husband and I lost one of our precious pups recently. That loss made me think of this Roger Caras quote and to add to it... Dogs are not our whole life, but they, and the people who love them, make our lives whole.  

The support we received from the members of the Visiting Pet Program was, in a word, overwhelming. Cards, emails, donations, hugs, prayers. As hard as our loss was, it was so comforting to know that other people understood our love for our dog. They were eager to provide caring and understanding; to relate stories of their own losses; unafraid to share tears.

Our animals are family members; the grief of their loss is real. The sadness can be debilitating. It is said that time will heal all. I suppose that is true. But, just as Oprah says..."what I know for sure"...is that with the empathetic support of the compassionate members of the Visiting Pet Program, the healing begins a little sooner.

The Visiting Pet Program is a unique organization made up of people brought together by their love for their animal and their desire to help others. As we enter our 26th year of service, give your pet a kiss and give yourself a pat on the back for being an integral part of a remarkable group of people.

With thanks for all you do,
Lee Gaffney

VPP Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and Annual Meeting 2013


It's that exciting time of year again!!!


The VPP Volunteer Appreciation Day Picnic and Award ceremony will be held Sunday, March 3, 2013 from 1pm-3pm. Come on out and join the fun at our new location of the Kenner Veterans Park (1925 Williams Boulevard) in Kenner. A map to Veterans Park, 1925 Williams Blvd in Kenner is linked below.


The VPP will provide sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks. Bring the family and your own chairs or a blanket to sit on and enjoy an afternoon of fun. We will have access to several covered shelters and a great play gym for the kids.


Please confirm your attendance (note how many guests will attend) by registering below. Each VPP member is welcomed to bring one guest at no charge. Additional guests are welcome at a nominal fee of $5.00 per person.


To be sure there is enough food for everyone, we need an accurate head count no later than February 22th.


Some rules to remember...

  • All human VPP volunteers, certified and probationary, and their family, kids and guests are invited. VPP dogs that have completed certification are invited to attend.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot invite dogs that are not certified through our program.
  • Dogs that are still in the probationary phase Are Not allowed to attend.
  • All dogs must remain on leash throughout the entire event and, just like on visits, only one dog per handler.
  • As always, flexi-leashes are not permitted.
  • Certified volunteers are asked to wear their green VPP shirts.

We hope you and your dog will be able to attend this family fun day. Please respond no later than February 22th and give us a head count for your guests.


We look forward to seeing you on March 3th!  

Meet the New Volunteers


Shannon Bernard with Hazel, the Beagle. Shannon is new to the area having worked for Cox Media for several years. She has also been a CASA volunteer. Hazel loves the outdoors whether at music festivals or walks in the park.


Robert Cleary and Carol Ziants with Bogie, the Hound Mix. Robert is busy as a bartender and student. Carol works at a law office of a former state senator. She also enjoys horses. Bogie enjoys adults, children and loves attention.


Diane Johns with Pilot, the Golden Retriever. Diane is active in community activities and is the Foster and Adoption Coordinator with Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue. Pilot loves his daily walks and visiting with neighbors.


Cher Lassiter with Lady Emma, the Golden Retriever. Cher is a substitute teacher and this past summer was involved with the Rotary Club at her church. Lady Emma loves to travel, is comfortable with people in wheelchairs and loves children.


Deirdre LeDoux with Mitzi, the Toy Poodle. Deirdre is a Cafeteria Manager for Jefferson Parish Public Schools. She also enjoys time with her grandchildren. Mitzi is friendly, even tempered and enjoys being around people.


Zan Nichols with Lucy, the Golden Mix. Zan is a northshore sales representative for Purveyor of Fine Wines and has volunteered in nursing homes. Lucy loves visiting coffee shops, the farmers market and dog parks.


Mary Rowe with Kokomo, the Standard Poodle. Mary is an ICU nurse at EJGH and enjoys gardening. Kokomo loves people and daily walks.


Karen Terry with Fiona, the Papillon Mix. Karen is a bookkeeper at Arnaud's Restaurant for many years. She also enjoys reading and traveling. Fiona loves people and going to the dog park and outdoor restaurants.


Ann Tuennerman with Delta Dawg, the Maltese Mix. Ann is founder of Tales of the Cocktail and is an active participant in promoting New Orleans. Delta Dawg is outgoing and loves to play with everyone.

Current Volunteers Add Pets



Cathy Burch with Lucy, the Miniature Dachshund. Cathy is a legal secretary and has been in the VPP for fourteen years. She has also rescued many pets. Lucy loves adults, children and attending family gatherings.


Lori Haeuser with Lizzie Dele, the Shih Tzu-Brussels Griffon Mix. Lori is active as the Community Outreach Coordinator at the LA/SPCA. She enjoys jazzercise and "eating lots of chocolate". Lizzie Dele loves all activities from trips to the store, park and work.


Guardian Angels
           Donations were received from

Suzette Hubbell
   and Lee Gaffney   

in loving memory of
Laura Williams' dogs,
Bud and Maggie

A donation was received from
Johanna and Hap Habisreitinger
and Louise Habisreitinger 
in honor of  
Fay and Bill Schultz
A donation was received from
Madeleine Deirdre Burns Fund
Donations were received from
Laura Williams, Claire Sommers 
Tamara and Mike Carboni 
Diane Smith, Joyce Lashley 
Cathy Burch, Helen Schneideau 
Barbara Hyland, Kevin Hand 
Fay and Bill Schultz 
in loving memory of
Lee and Tom Gaffney's dog,
Meghan Clare

A donation was received from
Aetna Foundtion 
in honor of
Barbara Hyland

Donations were received from
Martha Myers  

Mary Rowe 


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 26 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