Information for Facilities Requesting Pet Visits
Visits by well-trained and thoroughly screened handlers and their animals can benefit the health and well-being of people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, retirement communities, rehabilitation centers and many other facilities.
Research shows that positive interactions with animals increase endorphins, oxytocin, prolactin and dopamine, the hormones associated with blood pressure regulation, pain relief, stress relief and joy. Visits from therapy animal teams can normalize stays away from home for hospital patients, improve motivation to participate in treatment protocols and lessen worry, anxiety, unhappiness and pain.
All of ElderPet’s volunteer animal/handler teams are registered with Pet Partners, a national, non-profit organization that promotes human health and healing through the human/animal bond. Our volunteer handlers receive training from our licensed Pet Partners Instructor or on-line from Pet Partners. Teams are screened every two years by a veterinarian and by our licensed Pet Partners Evaluators to ensure all animals are healthy and appropriate for visiting.
All registered Pet Partner Teams have:
- $2M comprehensive general liability insurance
- Required handler education including topics such as confidentiality, infection control, effective communication, and animal handling best practices
- Availability of comprehensive continuing education available to handlers including topics such as working with Veterans and clients with Alzheimer’s
- Team re-evaluations every two years to ensure the suitability of the team as the animal matures
- Knowledge of stringent infection control protocols, including thorough grooming standards, required hand hygiene before and after any interaction and the exclusion of raw protein diets
- Dual level qualifications for teams help volunteers and facilities find settings in which the team will be the most effective
ElderPet strives to connect our volunteers with facilities seeking pet visits primarily in Strafford and Rockingham Counties, NH. Our volunteers decide on their own where they visit based on the appropriateness of the environment for them and their animal - along with their schedules.
If you represent a health care facility (hospital, assisted living, long term care, etc.), library, school, or other facility that would like visits from an ElderPet Pet Partners team, please click the link below to complete our on-line visit request form. If you are not in our geographic area, please feel free to fill out the form as we do have some outlying teams in Maine and Massachusetts. If you currently receive visits or have filled out our form in the past please fll it out again as we are creating a new Directory for our volunteers. Pet Partners also has a facility registration process if you wish to also register on their site. They also publish a comprehensive Facility Tool Kit which is linked here.
ElderPet would also like to offer coordinators the opportunity to sit in at our a Handler Course at no charge so that you may see first-hand the advantages of choosing Pet Partners for you facility visiting teams. Please check our Handler Course schedule and contact ElderPet if you are interested in attending.
Once ElderPet receives your information it will be included in our Facilities Directory, which is available to all of our Pet Partner teams. If you are a new addition to the Directory, we will distribute your information via email to our membership. Being on the list does not guarantee your facility will be chosen, but it does provide the teams with valuable information when making their decisions as to where to visit. Our volunteers are encouraged to visit a facility at least once without his/her pet before making a decision to visit on a regular basis. In addition, this allows you to interview the team handler.
Note: There is never a charge for visits, as all Pet Partner teams work strictly on a volunteer basis.
Please check the additional tabs on this page for further information for health care facilities and about Read With Me (Children reading to pets.)