Pets on Wheels brings the joy of friendly pet therapy to people all over the state of Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay. Regularly visiting nursing homes and hospitals to assisted living facilities, homeless and domestic violence shelters, veterans’ hospitals, libraries, schools, colleges, corporate campuses and more, Pets on Wheels volunteers fight stress and help lick loneliness one visit at a time. Each year over 175,000 people enjoy a visit from one of our teams, and our volunteers give a total of more than 12,000 hours of their time visiting nearly 400 facilities and special events.
We are a 501(c)3 organization and our visits are delivered at no charge to recipients. Our budget is supported solely by organizational and private donations, and our total costs to deliver our visits is far less than one dollar per person reached. Our donors and volunteers make our mission possible.
Pets on Wheels grew from the work of Dr. Frank Folke Furstenberg, a retired allergist and Sinai Hospital physician. In May 1982, he wanted to measure the effectiveness of pet visitation on shut-ins, so he developed a program with four volunteer teams visiting four nursing homes. Dr. Furstenberg noted that the stimulation of playing with animals benefited the patients significantly, and from that small test program, Pets on Wheels grew.
Initially, Pets on Wheels was part of the Baltimore City Department of Aging. In the late 1980s, the department established Pets on Wheels as a private 501(c)3 organization, and we have continued to grow and expand since then. We now visit nearly 400 facilities and events each year, from that four location start.
Please visit our testimonials page for reviews from some of those facilities and organizations we have worked with.
Pets on Wheels is a 501(c)3 organization and our federal ID # is 52-1657528.