Valir Hospets in Need of Volunteers

posted March 24th, 2017 by
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Nicole Castillo

Valir Hospets is a pet therapy program of Valir Hospice.

This service is for patients in the program who live in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Valir started this pawsitive program back in 2005 and its patients have benefited from thousands of visits from their four-legged friends. What better medicine than a happy tail wag or soft snuggle to boost your health and well-being?

HosPets-couchThe power of animal companionship has a plethora of positive health effects. Patients relax in the presence of the hospets and are able to focus on interacting with the furry visitor and not their illness. This program reduces the weight of anxiety and depression in residents, giving them something to look forward to. Hospets provide physical affection, love, and friendship. Visits  are good for the pet, patient, and pet owner. Imagine how fulfilling it would be to spread that kind of happiness to those that need it. Do you and your pet have what it takes to become a Hospet volunteer team?

The success of this program has created a call for more pet/owner volunteers. Well-mannered and calm animals must pass the Canine Good Citizen examination and Therapy Dog International (TDI) test, and have proof of vaccinations. As a pet owner, you must complete the Valir Hospice volunteer training.

“To become a volunteer with a pet, the training requires the pet to become certified as a pet therapy animal. This entails basic obedience classes 1 and 2 and the Canine Good Citizen Test, which focuses more on testing the dog in specific environments, encountering things they might meet with on visits, such as exposing them to different smells, wheelchairs, walkers, loud sounds etc. The dog’s response to presented stimuli is critical during this test.” says Lindsey Dietz, Marketing and Communications Specialist. “The handler must become a volunteer with Valir.  The person will go through an orientation process and training regarding what hospice is and their role as a volunteer.”Valir Hospice pet therapy dog Ted in roses (3)

The reward of becoming a Valir Volunteer would be to see a patient’s face light up when your pet walks into the room. You know your dog is special. How about sharing that wonderful animal with those that need a friend? For more information about the Hospet program, check out, on Facebook, or give them a call at 405-609-3636.

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