Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

April 2014    Volume 14, Issue 5

Take Note! 







Summer Seminars


Watch your mailbox for registration information on our exciting summer seminars.


Emails coming soon! 





New Volunteer Orientation

June 14, 2014

 10:00am to 12:00 pm


July 13, 2014

2:00pm to 4:00 pm

October 18, 2014

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 6, 2013


January 10, 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


Susanne Knudsen who lost her beloved Doberman Chase.



Chase joined the VPP in 2011. He was a regular visitor at Christwood and Pontchartrain Health Care on the North Shore. Chase was very special and will be missed by all who met him. Our deepest sympathies to Susanne for the loss of her precious pet.   

  Our deepest sympathies to

Susanne for the loss of her precious pet. 


 Quick Links

  Visiting Pet Program


  Monthly Schedules for Spring 2014 


  Help VPP by shopping through IGive


  Shop for great therapy dog books at Dogwise





After a long, hard winter, it's hard to believe summer is actually here! Our monthly visits are discontinued from June to September, but that doesn't mean we aren't busy. The summer camps have already been calling and asking for our talented teams to visit. Local universities want our pups to provide a respite from the horrible storm known as finals. As always, our wonderful volunteers are eager and ready to serve. It's nice to have some time to provide our form of therapy in new and different ways.


Our summer seminars will also be starting soon. In June, we will provide a trick training class with area obedience trainer Sharon McDonald. Sharon will teach us some fun things to do with our dogs to entertain those we visit. In July, Social Worker Sharon Henry will help us learn some new ways to handle difficult situations that we all have encountered during our visits. Notices and registration for these seminars will be posted soon. Watch your email for information.


Be sure to check out the photos from our Annual Meeting. The weather was gorgeous providing about 100 volunteers and family members with a much needed day in the sunshine.  All the pups were perfectly behaved and even participated in games and dress up contests. Our teams were acknowledged for their years of service with presentations topped off with fabulous door prizes.  This fun day only happens once a year. Be sure you are able to attend in 2015!


Take a short break for yourself after all you have done for others for the last 9 months. Have a safe and happy summer.

We'll see you in September!


With thanks for all you do,

Lee Gaffney





 VPP Volunteer Appreciation Picnic/Annual Meeting   



2014 Award Receipients   



Outstanding Volunteers:(L-R) Mason Morris, Frances Hecker, and Susanne Knudsen. 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. 




20 Year Member

 Frances Hecker



    15 Year Members 

   Cathy Burch. 

   Missing from picture: Connie Back and Vickie Salter




   10 Year Members

(L-R) Mason Morris, Danna Morris, Fay Schultz, and Jerry Gibel. Missing from picture is Greg West




5 Year Members

Kevin Hand 








9 Year Awards

Tabitha - Rose Marhay. Missing from the picture are Hanna - Dawn Hagmann, Stormy - Dot McIntyre, and Emily - Diane Smith  



  6 Year Awards


Chloe -Cathy Burch, Mozart - Fay Schultz, Mita - Malay Hajra. Missing from picture: Tookie - Nancy FIeld, Forrest - Claire Sommers, and Sassy - Greg and Donna West





3 year awards

(L-R): Lynne Aranda  with Splash,  Cindy Lemoine with Feeney,  Bob Klare with Maggie  and Cindy O'Donnell with Chloe 



3 year awards


(L-R): Brenda Chetta with Molly,  Jeanette Albert with Toby,  Pam Bellone's  Zip got a 3 year award (but she brought Rusty to the picnic)  and Linda Bordelon  with Lady. Not in the pictures are Cozette-Connie Back, Delta Dawn-Nancy Field, Lallie-Delia Hardie, Bindi-Brenda Becnel, Jazz-Kathleen Caulkins, Kismet-Janice Padwa, and Teddy-Greg and Donna West.


Guardian Angels
              Donations were received from

Claire Sommers, Lee Gaffney,
Fay and Bill Schultz

in memory of
Stella Kearney 


A donation was received from Aetna Foundation

in honor of
Barbara Hyland 


Donation was received from
Fay and Bill Schultz
in honor of


6 years of service award 


Donation was received from

AT&T Employee Giving Campaign


Donations were received from

Lee Gaffney, Claire Sommers, and Barbara Hyland  

in loving memory of
Susanne Knudsen's


A donation was received from
New Orleans Fleas Market


A donation was received from
Caroline Sanders


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