Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

February 2015 Volume 14, Issue 4

Take Note! 







 Volunteer Appreciation Picnic


 Sunday, March 8, 2015



 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 13, 2015

 10:00am to 12:00 pm


July 12, 2015

2:00pm to 4:00 pm

October 17, 2015

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 5, 2015


January 9, 2016


 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



Cathy Burch,

who lost her beloved dog,




joined the 

VPP in 2007 and

was a regular at Ochsner and Magnolia.







Rebecca Mueller, who lost her beloved pet, Daisy May.


Daisy May joined the VPP in 2012 and was a regular at the Pontchartrain Healthcare. 


Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 







 Quick Links




Our January evaluation resulted in 5 wonderful dogs and volunteers to welcome into our program. Be on the lookout for these new teams as they start their probationary visits. In addition to our new teams, we had over 40 members join us for their re-certification workshop! The senior center was packed! The workshop was a great opportunity to meet the new folks and swap stories and experiences. 

I have to admit this new group of dogs made me giggle. I watched them enter the senior center for their evaluation hesitant and apprehensive...was this the vet's office???? It's not the dog park. Where am I? They soon settled in and worked nicely through their evaluations. The next Saturday, I watched as they approached the senior center again for the workshop. This time it was "woooo hoooo! Fun place! This is where I get all those snuggles from all the nice people." I thought the Great Dane was going to pull her handler to the ground as she raced to get into the building! What a difference a week and a little experience make!

You can read more about our new teams in the New Volunteer section below.




It's Volunteer Appreciation time again!


As you may remember, last summer we received a very generous donation from Madeline Deirdre Burns. In honor of her kindness, we named the Annual Meeting for her. It is now called the Madeline Deirdre Burns Annual Volunteer Appreciation Meeting. 

Our meeting is a wonderful picnic for volunteers and family members. From the camaraderie shared with those who love our animals and share our mission, to the great food and exciting games, it's a day not to be missed. VPP provides everything except your chair. Just come and enjoy. Bring the family and your VPP dog. Members Monica Stephens, Stacey Warnke and Terri Joia are once again in charge of the people/pet games. Bring your spirit of competition and join in the fun. The event is Sunday, March 8th at the Kenner Veterans Park. If you haven't already done so, register by going to this  link. More details are listed there.

See you on March 8th!


Lee Gaffney

President, with thanks to Stacey Warnke for all the great photos below


Madeline Deirdre Burns
Volunteer Appreciation Meeting

The VPP Volunteer Appreciation Day Picnic and Award ceremony will be held Sunday, March 8, 2015 from 1pm-3pm. Come on out and join the fun at 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. Monica Stephens, Stacey Warnke and Terri Joia will once again be in charge of the exciting pet/pet games.


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 March 1.


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 28th and give us a head count for your guests.


We look forward to seeing you on March 8th!  You can register by clicking here 

Meet the New Volunteers


Alline Coker and Kraemer, the Lab Mix. Alline is a naval architect at Bollinger Shipyards and volunteers with its National Professional Society. Kraemer enjoys going to the dog park and festivals.

Barbara Doucet and Jack, the Golden Retriever.  Barbara is an assistant professor at LSU Health Science Center in the Dept. of Occupational Therapy. Jack loves going to fairs and dog socialization groups as well as being petted.


Jennifer Fonseca and Savannah, the Great Dane.  Jennifer is self-employed and her volunteer efforts include the Humane Society.  Savannah is laid back and enjoys the Barkus Parade.

Kerry Penn and Phideaux, the Mini-Dachshund.  Kerry recently retired from nursing at Touro and is enjoying time with her grandchildren.  She also volunteers with Paws in the Park, a non-profit in St. Bernard. Phideaux enjoys his neighborhood walks and meeting everyone.


Heather Wright and Louis, the Sheltie.  Heather is an artist with a love of New Orleans history. Louis enjoys going to City Bark and neighborhood walks.

Guardian Angels

Donations were received from
Lee Gaffney, Susanne Knudsen, Claire Sommers, and
Suzette Hubbell
in memory of Rebecca Breaud's dog, Violet

 A donation was received from 

New Orleans Fleas Market

 A donation was received from Helen Schneidau and Lee Gaffney in memory of Helen Schneidau's pet, Oscar

 A donation was received from United Way

 A donation was received from 

Johanna and Hap Habisreitinger in honor of
Fay and Bill Schultz

 A donation was received from Martha Myers

 A donation was received from Mary, Kevin and McArthur Kornman in memory of Christina Fay's pet, Taiki

 A donation was received from Barbara Hyland in memory of Cathy Burch's pet, Chloe

 A donation was received from Heather Gilliland

 A donation was received from Fay and Bill Schultz in memory of Robert W. Chamberland, 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 28 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