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WHATAnimal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and other facilities in the New Orleans area.
WHYAnimal assisted therapy in nursing homes brings the unconditional love of animals to seniors and provides stimulating nursing homes activities.
WHEREVisiting Pet Program.
Louisiana SPCA.
New Orleans, USA.

Program Description

"For the past 25 years, the volunteers of the VPP ("Visiting Pet" Program) have lived up to their motto of 'Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles' to the residents of nursing homes and hospitals."

The "New Orleans Visiting Pet" animal assisted therapy program allows dogs in nursing homes as well as cats, rabbits and even pigs. All animals are Accompanied by their owner or handler.

Dogs in nursing homes can provide:


-The responsibility of taking care of a pet for a short while (supervised by the dog handler
-A change from routine nursing home activities

Animals can interact with seniors in common areas, outdoors or in rooms of bed bound senior residents. Along with the benefits of being able to give and receive affection from a pet, seniors may also be able to recall fond memories and feelings of a time when they once owned a pet.

In order to take part in animal assisted therapy, dogs and other pets must be socialized calm and friendly.

* It should be noted that a nursing home environment is a busy one with noise, wheelchairs, walkers, medical carts, medical equipment and a variety of smells. Therapy dogs and other animals must be able to adapt to new places and situations.

The pet handler must attend a mandatory orientation. All therapy animals must be temperament tested during the “Visiting Pet” Program’s evaluation and checked by a veterinarian.


Capital Area Animal Welfare Society Pet Therapy Program - Baton Rouge,Louisiana. To help the elderly by providing a regular visitor along with their pet, and to increase morale and the activity level in nursing homes.

Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program - Program widely available across the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and several other countries.
Trains pet owners and pets on how to visit nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, physical therapy centers, long-term care facilities and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Dogs International Nursing Home Program - Across the USA and areas in Canada. Provides free visits of dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospices and other facilities to provide regular animal assisted therapy, an interactive nursing home activity and to give companionship to elderly.

Therapy Dogs Inc. Program - Program available across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories. Provides registration, support, and insurance for those involved in volunteer animal assisted activities.

FriendshipWorks PetPals Program - Boston Massachusetts, USA. Arranges for pets (cats and dogs) and their owners to make friendly visits providing animal assisted therapy to elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
Certified pet handler volunteers take their pets to visit elderly in nursing homes providing animal assisted therapy.

Pets on Wheels Program - Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Providing regular animal assisted therapy through pet and dog visits to nursing homes and assisted living by trained volunteers and approved pets.

ASPCA - Animal Assisted Therapy Program - New York, USA. Pet owners can register their dogs and cats for animal assisted therapy and visit elderly in nursing homes, hospitals, classrooms, libraries and other facilities.

Intermountain Therapy Animals Program - Utah, USA. Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy teams visit seniors in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Alzheimer's Care Units, Hospitals, Veterans Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Centers and many other facilities.

Find out more about the "New Orleans Visiting Pet" Program

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