In order to feel positive about your time in the facility, take some time out for yourself before you visit.
Do a Self-check including:
1. Make sure you are healthy on the day of the visit
2. Leave stresses and problems from the day at the door
3. Wear your ID tag at all times
4. Dress for the visit – uniform (including comfortable, closed toed shoes. Keep jewelry to a minimum.)
5. Go to the washroom!
6. Do not wear strong smelling perfumes, hair products. (Many locations are scent free)
7. Wash your hands
8. Bring a sense of humor, when working with animals; you never know what will happen!
Know your animal. Learn to recognize its signs of stress. Make sure the animal has had a walk and a chance to do its “business: (which, of course, you have cleaned up!). If visiting with another team, arrive early to allow ample “sniffing” time prior to entering the facility.
1. Make the visit positive. Give lots of praise and encouragement.
2. Make sure your pet is clean and its nails are trimmed and filed.
3. Use a buckle or snap collar and a leash under 6 feet long. Harnesses are allowed for small dogs; Cats (small animals) must wear a harness and be transported in a carrier. No extendable leashes, choke collars or spike collars are permitted.
4. Never leave your pet while you are in the facility. Never tie your pet to a wheelchair or furniture.
5. Pets may also wear their identification (i.e. bandanna).
6. If your pet has an “accident”, you are responsible for cleaning up, disposing of wastes properly and informing staff for additional clean-up/disinfection of the spot. Be prepared!
7. In the case of team visits animals should meet prior to the visit to have time to greet one another. Multi-species visits, unless approved by the PAWS and the venue are not permitted as it may contribute to unpredictable behavior.
Your Doggy/Pet Bag
You must be prepared for any situation so there are several things you may want to take with you on your visit. As you become more familiar with the routine, you will know what you may need. Use a bag that you can carry easily. Your pet will probably start to recognize it and know when they are going to “work”.
Some things you want to bring are:
• Water and a dish
• Towel for wet/muddy paws, drool
• Plastic bags(poop bag) and paper towels
• Toys (non-squeak if possible)
• A brush
• Clothes brush or roller
• An extra collar with no jingling tags
• An extra leash
Children are not permitted with the PAWS team as you must focus all of your attention on your pet for the safety of all.
Guests who are over 16 years of age may be permitted to observe the team on special occasions. Please ask the executive director and staff of the facility if it is appropriate that day to bring a guest. Guests may be required to sign paperwork prior to attending.