Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

April 2013    Volume 12, Issue 5

Take Note! 







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




 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
Ginny Belle.

Ginny Belle joined the VPP in 1996 and retired in 2012. She was a regular visitor at John Hainkel. Ginny Belle definitely made an impression on everyone who met her. She will be missed by many.

  Our deepest sympathies to

Lee and Tommy

for the loss of their precious pet. 


 Quick Links

  Visiting Pet Program


  Monthly Schedules for Spring 2013 


  Help VPP by shopping through IGive


  Shop for great therapy dog books at Dogwise





What an amazing day we had for a picnic! With 99 people in attendance, we enjoyed beautiful weather, great food, fabulous company, exciting games! Just a wonderful day all the way around. Details on the awards received that day are featured below. All of the photos from the event are posted on our web site. Be sure to check them out.


Recently, I discovered a new facebook page called
The Working Therapy Dog. One of their posts touched me.
I thought I would share it with you.


Tribute to a Therapy Dog
by Cheryl Goede

I am in the hospital, I must try and get well
The reasons why are varied,
we each have our stories to tell
Some days are bad some days are good,
the wish to "get well" is understood
My body has grown weak, I've felt so tired,
but you walked in, and new dreams were inspired.
I was losing hope and at the end of my rope,
but your friendship saved, new hurdles are easily braved.
I walked the corridors with you, laughing with glee,
to have you with me was all I would need.
You cuddled me close, kissed my hands and my face,
your love is priceless, could never be replaced.
And if for some reason, I co
uld not stay,
it wasn't your fault, don't think that wa
I'll tell all the angels, when heaven I see,
how happy you made me, your love carried me.

With thanks for all you do,
Lee Gaffney
 VPP Volunteer Appreciation Picnic/Annual Meeting   



2013 Award Receipients   

Outstanding Volunteers:(L-R) Monica Stephens, Nicole Parks, Mike Azzarello and Helen Hester. All of these volunteers went above and beyond their required monthly visit. From doing additional visits during the month, to serving as Mentors to our probationary volunteers, to dedicated participation to our Reading to Rover program, to volunteering to represent our organization at a variety of community events- their devotion to our mission is overwhelming! We thank each one for sharing their time and talents with us. We are honored to call them Visiting Pet Program volunteers.




15 Year Members

Lori Haeuser 

Denise Mehurin  

missing from picture                     








  2013 - 10 yr member

 10 Year Members

Linda Ferguson and Laura Williams. Missing from picture is Joyce Lashley                           


5 Year Members

(L-R) Malay Hajra, Monica Stephens, Annemarie Fisher and Jeanette Albert. Missing from picture Donna West,     

Nancy Field and Carolyn Saunders      



9 Year Awards

(L-R) Kaci-Mason & Danna Morris, Lambkin-Frances Hecker, JJ-Fay Schultz. Missing from picture: Ellie-Donna&Greg West  

  2013 6yr pet
  6 Year Awards

(L-R) Mollie- Sandy Woods, Tallulah - Lee & Tom Gaffney, Rosie- Cathy Burch. Missing from picture: Dixie-Kim Barrett, Mills-Joyce Lashley         



3 year awards

(L-R) SueLing-Joan Rey, Sable-Craig Miller & Maria Thornton, Chloe-Jennifer Mueller, Betty Boop-Fay Schultz, Angelle-  Stacey Warnke&Terri Joia, Tancuj-Jerry Gibel. Missing from picture are:Bacchus-Leslie Davis, Cayenne- Tobi Provenzano, Oscar-Julie-Ann Wegmann, and Yaeger-Tere Walsh. 

Guardian Angels
               Donations were received from

Fay and Bill Schultz, Barbara Hyland, Susanne Knudsen, Claire Sommers, Lori Haeuser, and Diane Smith
in loving memory of
Lee and Tom Gaffney's
Ginny Belle


A donation was received from Cathy Burch


Donation was received from
Fay and Bill Schultz
in memory of
Jane Rey


Donation was received from
Lori Haeuser
in loving memory of
Lee and Tom Gaffney's
Meghan Clare


A donation was received from Robin Penell


Donation was received from
Fay and Bill Schultz

in honor of
JJ and Betty Boop's
years of service


A donation was received from Fay and Bill Schultz in memory of John Caruso, Sr.



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