Once your pet is deemed appropriate for this type of work and passes the temperament testing, we will discuss which facilities are looking for volunteers in the areas that you prefer. We do require that you and your pet volunteer at least one hour per month at your chosen facility or at an event, to remain a current therapy team volunteer.
We have an expansive list of facilities that are requesting visits, but if you have a facility in mind that isn’t registered with Pets on Wheels yet, let us know and we will try to make that happen.
Making Your Visits
Once you choose a facility, you will contact the Facility Coordinator and arrange a tour/visit. The Facility Coordinator will advise you of any special Facility requirements/orientation you may need to fulfill prior to visiting with your pet, and will advise you if you should bring your pet for that first visit.
When visiting a facility, you must always wear your ID card on a Pets on Wheels lanyard. Your pet must always wear the Pets on Wheels pet tag, although you may begin visiting before your pet tag is received. Please bring a copy of your current health certificate with you – some volunteers keep a copy on their phone for convenience.
Please do not take photographs of residents at any facility without written consent from the facility, the resident or the residents’ Power of Attorney. You can print out a blank copy of our photograph consent form online.
If you are visiting a facility and an incident occurs, it is your responsibility to contact the Facility Coordinator or Director of Nursing and also contact the Pets on Wheels coordinator immediately. Communication is essential in a situation where there is a bite, scratch or any other disturbing incident.
Sometimes, a facility isn’t the right fit for you or your pet. If that happens, please contact your local coordinator right away. Our goal is to always make sure your visits are a positive experience for your pet, you and the people you meet.
If, for any reason, you feel the need to change facilities, we will find a new facility. If a facility just isn’t a good fit for you or your pet, do not hesitate to immediately contact us. Also, if you find yourself with some free time and would like to visit another facility (or two), let us know and we will work with you to find another suitable facility.
Recording Your Visits
You are required to record all of your visits in your online Pets on Wheels account as soon as the visits are completed and prior to the 6th of the following month. This information is vital to us for insurance reasons and also helps us in required reporting.
Volunteers who spend 100 hours or more visiting facilities and events each calendar year are also eligible to receive special recognition at our Volunteer Appreciation Events, so properly recording your information is important. If you have problems logging your information, please contact your local coordinator.
If any of your contact information changes, please update your online account ASAP so we can contact you.
We reserve the right to terminate a volunteer under any circumstance where the volunteer does not have the best interest of Pets on Wheels in mind or is not following protocol.
And lastly, if you can no longer volunteer with Pets on Wheels, please contact us so we can archive your file. If you are comfortable saying so, we would appreciate knowing why you can no longer volunteer. We do ask that you return the ID card and pet tag to your local coordinator. However, if you wish to keep them as a memento of a pet who has passed, please let your coordinator know.