Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

April 2016    Volume 16, Issue 5

Take Note! 


New Volunteer Orientation


June 11, 2016
 10:00am to 12:00 pm

July 10, 2016
2:00pm to 4:00 pm


October 15, 2016
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
 Harahan Senior Center
 100 Elodie
  Pre-registration required
Contact Claire Sommers at [email protected] to register

Summer Seminar 
Mark your calendar for 
June 14th at 6:30 
Grooming Made Easy 
with VPP member 
Stacie Humble 
at her shop, 
in Harahan. 
Invitation and details coming soon
Our thanks to Lori Haeuser for the idea.

Have a suggestion

for a July seminar??? 
Email Lee Gaffney 

at [email protected]

Pet/Handler Evaluation

August 6, 2016

January 6, 2017
 Harahan Senior Center
   100 Elodie
 Pre-registration required

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

Reading To Rover  
Held on the third Tuesday of each month at the East Bank Regional Library
4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie


Held on the second Tuesday of each month at Rosa Keller Library 4300 South Broad Street in New Orleans
6:00pm - 7:00pm

 Contact Fay Schultz
 to confirm your slot at any of these

Reading To Rover
Special Thanks to...
 our wonderful donor 
Madeleine Burns 
 Our Annual Meeting is  called
Tara's Toast to Volunteers in honor of Madeleine Burns first dog, a beautiful Sheltie named Tara. Ms. Burns attended the picnic but did not want any special attention at all so many of you did not even know she was there.  Hopefully some of you were able to meet and chat with her. She brought a wide array of photos from last year's picnic to share with our volunteers. She had her camera out again this year!

Ms. Burns generosity makes our annual meeting possible. We were so thrilled she could join in the fun.


Madeleine Burns


Tara's Toast to Volunteers

   Happy Retirement to

Pearce Webb
retired Preslie due to a chronic health issue. 

They joined VPP in 2014 and were regulars at John Hainkel. 
Four Paw Salute

Barbara Hyland would like to thank members of the Buddy Program who joined her in assisting with the probationary pet visits for the January, 2016 evaluation group. Cooperation from everyone is the key to the success of this program.
Buddy members included Jeannette Albert, Diana Alcazaras, Connie Back, Linda Bauer, Pam Bellone, Brenda Becnel, Cathy Burch, Kathleen Caulkins, Creevy Clay, Lori Haeuser, Dawn Hagmann, Kimberley Clayton Hamlen, Delia Hardie, Bob Klare, Denise Mehurin, Nicole Parks, Diane Smith, Claire Sommers, Patty Spampneto, Monica Stephens, Joy Sturtevant, Nancy Tatarski and Rhonda Vergona. In addition, the following members assisted with observation visits:  Kim Bradley, Sonja Flick, Judy Haber-Stone, Stacie Humble and Sandy Woods.

 Quick Links



Spring has finally sprung and our opportunities for service are blooming! 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.


Be sure to check out the photos from our Annual Meeting. Our thanks to Fay Schultz for having a camera handy! Under a gorgeous blue sky, 100 volunteers and family members, including 50 dogs, turned out for our event. All the pups were perfectly behaved and even participated in challenging games.  The new venue was a huge hit. 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 March 5, 2017. 


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   
2016 Award Recipients 

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.

Cathy Burch and Diana O'Dowd

missing from photo is Kathleen Caulkins





     15 Year Member
       Dawn Hagman
     missing from photo

        is Delia Hardie
                              10 Year Members 
                            Jeannette Albert and

                                Barbara Hyland

5 Year Members 
(Lto R):Bob Klare, Lynn Aranda, Cindy Lemoine,

Cindy O'Donnell and Linda Bordelon.

Missing from photo is Kathleen Caulkins and Brenda Becnel



12 Years of Service Award
with Fay Schultz 

 9 Years of Service


with Sandy Woods

missing from photo is

Tallulah with Tom Gaffney


6 Years of Service

(L-R) Tancuj (Jerry Gibel), Chloe (Jennifer Mueller), SueLing (Joan Rey), Betty Boop (Fay Schultz) and Yaeger (Tere Walsh).

   3 Years of Service awards
(L-R): Benny - Joy Sturtevant, Lilou - Diana O'Dowd, Leo - Rhonda Vergona, Izzy -Anna Breaux, Midnight-Tiffanie Lyon, Jazz - Linda Bauer, Zambi - Barbara Hyland,
Rusty - Pam Bellone,Moss - Nancy Tatarski.

Not in the picture: Lucy and Molly - Kim Bradley,

- Jennifer Buuck, Andy
- Lee Gaffney,

Murphy - Denise Mehurin 
Guardian Angels

A donation was received from Diane Smith in memory of Dana and Mason's dog, Kaci

A donation was received from Your Cause

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 29 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  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  

Visiting Pet Program | P.O. Box 24748 | New Orleans | LA | 70184-4748