Volunteers' Voice

News for and about the Visiting Pet Program

August 2016    Volume 16, Issue 1
    Take Note!   
New Volunteer Orientation
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

Pet/Handler Evaluation
August 6, 2016
January 7, 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  
 On the East Bank
   Held on the third Tuesday of each month at the East Bank Regional Library
 4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie
In Orleans Parish  
Held on the second Thursday of each month, Rosa Keller Library, 
4300 South Broad
New Orleans
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  
    Contact Fay Schultz
 to confirm your slot at any of these
Reading To Rover

Our Deepest Sympathies
Joy Sturtevant  lost her beautiful rescue Boxer,
Islay joined VPP in 2011.  She was a regular at St Margaret's and Reading to Rover, as well as a familiar face at Hainkel, STAIR reading program and many summer camps.
and to
Rose Marhay, who lost her dog, Tabitha. Tabitha  joined VPP in 2005, regularly visited at Ochsner Hospital and were members of the Ochsner Pet Program
and to
Claire Sommers
who lost her dog,
joined VPP in 2007 and was a regular at Covenant Home and Reading to Rover.
He retired in 2014.

  Happy Retirement

The following VPP members recently retired their pets from service to the community. Our sincere thanks goes to:

Sandy Woods, who retired her dog, Mollie. Sandy and Mollie joined the VPP 2006  and were dedicated regulars at St Joseph's. Sandy tell us " I am so thankful to see how much joy she has brought to so many residents/patients who would look forward to seeing her & recognize and remember her name as soon as they saw her.  As for now I plan to continue showering her with endless love, hugs, and kisses, & providing her the best life at her own pace."
Pamela Dean, who retired her dog, Daisy Pamela and Daisy joined VPP in 2015 and were regulars at East Jefferson General Hospital.  Pamela tells us "I love the program; however, I am sensing that Daisy is not as much at ease during the visits as she used to be and in her best interest, I need to retire her after her short, year long membership". This is the decision of a caring and compassionate lady.   
Lee and Tom Gaffney, who retired their dog,Talullah. Talullah joined VPP in 2006 and regularly visited at John Hainkel and Children's Hospital. Talullah lives with 3 other Gaffneyhound VPP members who will continue in her pawprints.
Kevin Hand, who retired his dog, Hercules. Hercules   joined VPP in 2008  and was regular visitors at Colonial Oaks. Thankfully, Kevin will continue to serve as a buddy to new members.  And a huge sigh of relief, Kevin has agreed to continue as the VPP treasurer. 
Cindy Lemoine, who retired her dog, Feeney. Feeney joined VPP in 2010 and regularly visited Ochsner Hospital.  Feeney has a younger sister who will be evaluated for VPP membership in August.  

Jennifer Mueller, retired her dog, Chloe. Chloe joined VPP in 2009,and regularly visited at Pontchartrain Health Care.Chloe retired at the age of 13.  For a large breed dog, Chloe certainly qualified as a "senior volunteer".
 Quick Links
About 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 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
Time to start our visits once again!Hard to believe we are entering our 29th year of service to Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. 
Our volunteers didn't take much of a break during the summer months. Read below about some of their many activities during the summer. We're ready to get the fall started with our Evaluation in early August and then welcome our new volunteers through out the fall.
If you have not already done so, be sure to send in your visit confirmations for September through December. Your schedules are due by August 15th. And remember your dues and contact are also due before you start your visits in September.
Have a wonderful year of "Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles"!
With thanks for all you do,
Lee Gaffney

VPP Business Cards

Many of you have asked about the cute "business cards" our members use. I've included Chaz's card as an example. If you are interested in purchasing, send 2 high resolution photos of your pup
terriergroup@gmail.com. The cost is $40 for 250 cards and can be paid via paypal on our web site.
Some pleas for help!
1. The therapy booth is broken. We need someone to either fix what we have or start over with something lighter. If you are handy with a hammer and creative, please contact me at [email protected]

2. Coming up in October is Boxers, Brew and  BBQ to help raise funds for Boxer Rescue. The event is Saturday, October 1st at The Kamp on Hickory Ave. If you can take an hour or two to put your dog in our therapy booth to offer snuggles and earn donations, please contact me at [email protected]. We will be there from 10:30am - 4pm.
 VPP at Camp Tiger


On a beautiful Friday in May, a group of VPP pet-handler teams joined the fun at Camp Tiger hosted by the LSUHSC Med Students for special needs children. What a great camp and what a great day! 


VPP at Camp Lighthouse

A large group of VPP members once again visited Camp Lighthouse, a camp for visually impaired children. Both dogs and kids had a wonderful time getting and giving snuggles.
VPP at
Care Cadet Camp  


Barbara Hyland and Alex gave their annual summer presentation to the LASPCA Care Cadet Campers. Barbara said  it was exciting to share with the Care Cadets our new Members in Training Program/MIT.  They will now have an opportunity to become members of VPP.


        Tulane School of Social Work Visit

Several dogs and a cat with the Visiting Pet Program participated in an hour-long meet-and-greet with students, faculty and staff at the Tulane School of Social Work. The visit allowed students to learn from the pets' owners about the benefits of using animals as a tool for relaxation in a variety of therapy settings.

A group of Visiting Pet volunteer teams visited with the Occupational Therapy students at LSU Health Science Center. The goal of the event was to reduce the students stress as they studied for a major exam. The student's blood pressure was taken before and after the event to determine if any change was indicated. Unfortunately, the results were not complete in time for this newsletter but the volunteers know they made a difference!
VPP at Camp Able

Our newest camp experience was at Camp Able, a camp for special needs children held at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The dogs and kids together enjoyed outdoor water activities as well as indoor snuggles and hugs. In the photo, Benny, the Boxer, and a camper shared a very special secret!

VPP Summer Seminars

Dog Grooming
VPP member and professional dog groomer, Stacey Humble of Superpups Dog Grooming in Harahan, and Benny, the therapy dog and total gentleman, offered an exciting and informative presentation on basic grooming techniques for long and shorthaired dogs, equipment to have on hand, what to look for healthwise in the dogs coat, ears, etc, and easy handling techniques for nail trimming, ear cleaning, and bathing. Our thanks to  Stacy for sharing her  time, talents and space and most importantly, her grooming tricks to offer her very valuable presentation.

Holistic Veterinary Medicine

Holistic Veterinarian, Michelle L. Jobert, DVM, CVA, CVSMT, CVCH,
offered us a remarkable presentation on nutrition, acupuncture and chiropractic care for our animals. Her audience eagerly absorbed every bit of information Dr. Jobert generously shared with us. The group was so enthralled with Dr. Jobert that we finally had to ask people to leave! Dr. Jobert has already agreed to speak to us again next summer. Be sure not to miss that one! Our thanks to VPP member Barbara Hyland for arranging the use of meeting space at East Jefferson Hospital.
Guardian Angels
Donations were received from Lee Gaffney,
Fay and Bill Schultz, Barbara Hyland,
Cathy Burch, Delia Hardie, Lori Haeuser, Helen Schneideau, Joy Sturtevant,
Diane Smith, Leslie Davis, Cindy Lemoine,  Kevin Hand, Denise Mehurin
, in memory of Claire Sommer's dog, Forrest
A donation was received from a
North Shore High School student - Bailey Gonzales
Donations were received from Lee Gaffney, Fay and Bill Schultz, Joy Sturtevant, Cindy Lemoine,  and Claire Sommers in memory of Rose Marhay's dog, Tabitha
A donation was received from Suzette Hubbell in memory of
Shirley Walter
's dog, Madison
Donations were received from Lee Gaffney, Brendan Minard,
Fay and Bill Schultz, Barbara Hyland and Claire Sommers 

in memory of
Joy Sturtevant's dog, Islay
A donation was received from Zoe Giusti
Donations were received from
Your Cause - Corp ATT Employee Giving Program
A donation was received from United Way
A donation was received from
Aetna Foundation in honor of Barbara Hyland