"PETS ON WHEELS" PROGRAM
Fairfax, Virginia, USA
"We all joined the Fairfax Pets On Wheels program for the same reason, a commitment to brighten the day of our senior citizens, making them feel less lonely by giving and being compassionate, and to provide them with the companionship of a well-behaved pet."
Pet therapy can be provided by dogs, cats, rabbits and other approved animals and provides an engaging nursing home activity for seniors.
Volunteers and nursing home staff find that even the most depressed and withdrawn senior residents eventually respond to an animal’s presence and attention. In many cases senior resident react to animals with more awareness than to people.
Seniors who owned a pet at one time have an opportunity to bring back memories and the fond feelings associated with that time.
Volunteers who believe that their pet’s personality is suitable to provide seniors with pet visitation are invited to an orientation, and eventually have their pet's temperament tested and apply for the animal assisted therapy program.
The “Canine Behavior Assessment” is conducted by the “Pets on Wheels” Program to determine how the dog and handler will react to and cope within the environment of a nursing home. The dog is evaluated on how he or she interacts with other pets. The handler is assessed on his or her awareness and control of the dog. The overall comfort level within the nursing home is noted. Once accepted, both pet and owner are trained for the “Pets on Wheels” Program and owners and dogs can begin visiting nursing homes.
Pets are checked periodically for up to date vaccinations. The “Pets on Wheels” Program provides more than 8,000 hours of pet visitation to seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities annually.
The goal of the “Pets on Wheels” Program is to provide animal assisted therapy, companionship and a better quality of life for seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
WATCH VIDEO ON "PETS ON WHEELS" PROGRAM
ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY IN NURSING HOMES:
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.
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 animal assisted therapy, an interactive nursing home activity and to give companionship to elderly.
People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
Certified pet handler volunteers take their pets to visit elderly in nursing homes.
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.
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.
New Orleans Visiting Pet Program - New Orleans, USA. Animal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities 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.
Terminally Ill & Their Pets
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly