Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

 October, 2015
Volume 15, Issue 2

Take Note! 

Join us for 
Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 4th
Christ Church Cathederal
St. Charles Ave

Look for the VPP booth at
 Walk Against Bullying
Saturday, October 3rd
Zephyrs Field
Pet Fest
Sunday, October 18th
Lafreniere Park 

New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, October 17, 2015
2:00pm to 4:00pm
 Harahan Senior Center
 100 Elodie
  Pre-registration required
Contact Claire Sommers at [email protected] to register

Pet/Handler Evaluation
January 9, 2016
 Harahan Senior Center
   100 Elodie
 Pre-registration required
Barbara Hyland

to register at
[email protected]  
 if you would like to have an additional pet tested.

 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


Brenda Chetta's American Eskimo.
Molly was certified in 2010 and was a regular visitor at Chateau. 
Her happy tail and beautiful white coat will be missed by all who knew her.

 Quick Links


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. 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 



Our fall evaluation was a tremendous success thanks to the continued efforts of Danna Morris and her amazing evaluation team. We were able to evaluate 24 teams, of which 18 teams will proceed to the next step. We had 5 teams deemed "Not Ready", but they had a lot of potential and we hope to see them back at a later evaluation. Unfortunately, we had 1 "Not Suitable". 
In a note from Danna to the evaluation team she beautifully expressed what many of us enjoy about evaluation day:
For me, evaluation day is not just about coordinating the event, assigning locations for volunteers or the effort to make the day run smoothly.  It's about everyone sharing in the excitement of meeting new people and pets who want to experience the same joy that we, as current members, have experienced with our pets on visits.  Being a part of watching our organization grow is so rewarding, and that's why your participation is important to us.  It is overwhelming for me to watch you all come together to support the Visiting Pet Program and I am very grateful that you are so giving of your time.  You are what this organization is all about... you make this work! 
Our thanks also to Barbara Hyland, Probationary Volunteer Coordinator, for supporting our new volunteers as they go through their probationary period.  Barbara is the resource for all things VPP for our new volunteers. She has her hands full with 18 new volunteers this fall.
You can read about all our new volunteers in the article below.

With thanks for all you do,
Lee Gaffney
Meet the New Volunteers:

Stephanie Abbott with Sophie, the Airedale Terrier. Stephanie is a busy mom, hospice nurse and also sings in a gospel choir. Sophie, whose foster mom is VPP member Delia Hardie, loves going to coffee shops and restaurants with outside seating.

Nathalie Bastin with Lucy, the Shih Tzu and Louise, the Pomeranian. Nathalie has been rescuing dogs for about ten years and they have become an important part of her life. Lucy and Louise both love the company of adults and children and their daily walks.

Suzanne Christensen with Harper Lee, the Golden Retriever. Suzanne and her husband recently moved to New Orleans and is a former technical editor. Harper Lee loves restaurants, hotels and daily walks.

Barbara Comarda with Gingersnap, the Lhasa Apso Mix. Barbara is a retired kindergarten teacher, an avid tennis player and is active as a volunteer with the LA/SPCA. Gingersnap loves
children and going for neighborhood walks.

Bill Cromartie with Abby, the Giant Schnauzer. Bill is a civil engineer with the Port of New Orleans. He enjoys antique autos and wood working. Abby has completed different levels of obedience training as well as Agility for Fun.

Pamela Dean with Daisy, the Golden Retriever. Pamela is an attorney and assists her husband in a limited capacity in his private practice. Daisy loves going to the park, has taken an
obedience class and loves to 'shake hands.'

Jan DiCicco with Don Diego, the Terrier Mix. Jan is a free-lance court reporter who handles depositions. She also enjoys going to the gym and nature walks. Don Diego loves being petted
and being around people.

Kaki Smith with Chloe, the Brittany. Kaki is an accountant and handles financial matters for a local general contractor. Chloe loves to be petted and goes to work daily with Kaki's husband.

Terry and Jeff Stadler with Lilly, the Pug. Terry works for Christ the King School and Jeff is in the Marine Corps. Terry and Jeff both volunteer at Ochsner-Baptist as an NICU babyrocker. Lilly loves going to the park and being petted.

Susan Talbot with Magic, the Labrador. Susan is a retired attorney. She participates in canine agility and obedience training. Magic loves being petted, attend agility trials and going to Pet Fest.

Donna Williams with Sallie Mae, the Boston Terrier. Donna is an assistant professor at LSUHSC. Dogs have always been a part of her life. Sallie Mae gets along well with dogs, enjoys
going on walks and loves children.

Current Volunteer Adds Pet:

Marcia Legendre with Mojo, the Burmese Feline.
Marcia has been an active member of VPPnot only with monthly pet visits but assisting on evaluation day. Marcia is also a volunteer with the World War II museum. Mojo is friendly and enjoys the company of adults and other pets.

Guardian Angels
Donations were received from    
Brenda Chetta, Diane Smith
and Barbara Hyland
in memory of
Kathleen Caulkins dog

A donation was received from
Jill Dolese
in honor of her retired therapy dogs
Chance and Rocky

Sharon Thomas and Friends at Merck
sent a donation in memory of 
Dick O'Donnell
father of VPP member
Cindy O'Donnell