Volunteering is an important commitment. This program could not run without people like you! Remember, our clients are counting on you. You may not always see a dramatic change in a person from one visit to the next, but we never know how we will connect with someone on any given day. They look forward to our visits as a bright spot in their day. Please let the facility know, well in advance if possible, if you cannot make your visit. Other team members may be able to fill in or the facility may be able to make other programming arrangements.
There may also be opportunities for PAWS members to attend special events. Please try to help if you can. Volunteers are really the key to creating a strong, vibrant, sustainable program in the region.
Assist in seeking funding, with board approval. Without funding PAWS would not be able to provide such a valuable service to the community.
Take some time to look at yourself. What are your skills and interests? What are your limitations? What is you comfort level? Be honest – it will help you choose the best kind of pet therapy program for you.
It is important that you feel productive about your time spent at the facility and comfortable with the people that you are amongst. For this reason, you need to consider the following:
- the type of facility and the type of resident
- your personality and preferences
- are you more comfortable in a group setting or in a one on one setting
- do you feel comfortable around people with cognitive impairment, people who have hearing loss, people who have mobility impairment?
- How much time to commit?
- What people skills do you have?
Know your Animal
Take the time to know your animal. Do they like to be around a group of people? How do they react around children? Do they have preferences regarding heat and cold?