Pets on Wheels of Scottsdale
All About Pets on Wheels
How to Become a Volunteer
Impact on Volunteers
Some Special Experiences
Resident Dogs in Nursing Homes
Starting Your Own Program
A Dogs View
Funding & Contributors
Handbook for Volunteers
The Healing Power of Pets
Officers and Board of Directors
Participating Veterinary Clinics
Health Care Centers
Hall of Fame 2004 thru 2011
Hall of Fame 2012 and beyond
New Volunteer-Pet Teams
Veteran Volunteer-Pet Teams
Dog Obedience Classes
Calendar of Events
Pet Therapy Links
How to Join
Pet Rescue Links
Area Care Center Search
Awards and News Stories
How to Become a Volunteer
Note: If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, we suggest you review the Overview and read the Volunteer Guidelines -- then return to this button, How to Become a Volunteer, and follow the steps listed. We look forward to meeting you and your pet.
To volunteer with your pet, telephone the voice mail (602) 735-6886. Note -- even though we are in Scottsdale, the area code for the voice mail is (602). Leave your name and telephone number and our Volunteer Coordinator, Carol Semon, will get back to you – for a 15-minute explanation of the program, collection of information about you and your pet, and a review of the material you will receive in the mail. Make special note of the procedural steps in the memo. Carol is shown below, at our Granite Reef Senior Center office.
When you meet with the President and Secretary on the next third Saturday of the month, you will submit your completed application form, information about your pet, and background check form, with a copy of your driver's license. You and five to ten others (with their pets) will meet as a group, to get acquainted, view a video, have your photos taken, and have an initial review of the pets. [Note: all information related to the background checks is strictly confidential and kept in Anne Jennings' home, not at the office]
Be sure your dog has been spayed or neutered, is interested in people, and is friendly towards other dogs. He or she should be at least 1 year old and well adjusted.
If all goes well, you will receive an envelope containing a veterinarian examination form, a copy of the Volunteer Guidelines, a list of health care centers (with yours indicated) and other pertinent information. When the pet's health certificate is completed by a veterinarian and you have submitted it, together with $65, one of our evaluators will be assigned to meet with you and your pet for 1-1/4 hour at a health care center (the facility marked on your list of care centers).
The application fee of $65 is the only fee to be assessed. It pays for a logo bandana, safety-collar-lead, and annual health examinations for the dog. The volunteer receives a lanyard and name tag, a T-shirt, quarterly newsletters, quarterly training meetings, liability insurance coverage, an extensive awards program, a volunteer-pet team photo, the photo posted to this Pets on Wheels web site, and a background check. There are no annual fees. If the team does not pass the evaluation, $30 of the fee is refunded.
If your evaluator indicates you and your pet have passed, you may then commence your weekly visits. There is no need to wait until you've gotten your T-shirt and ID tag at the next quarterly volunteers' meeting. The evaluator will, however, give you the dog's bandana and safety lead, and your lanyard, at the completion of the evaluation.
Major problems which may indicate your dog is not ready are: tugging and pulling on the lead (especially if the dog is large); persistently sniffing the floor (thus, not paying attention to residents); aggression toward other dogs or humans; persistent shyness, uncontrolled barking; or disinterest. Other important factors are cleanliness, general behavior, attitude toward residents, and the relationship between volunteer and pet.
This is a program that is beneficial both to recipients and volunteers. There is a medically proven calming effect in touching animals. Loneliness, depression, and withdrawal can be relieved, to varying degrees, by the comforting nearness of a friendly animal. Volunteers add a new dimension to their lives and discover that sharing a pet and an hour or two of their time can offer deeply satisfying rewards. The pets also enjoy the socializing and times away from home with their owners. This activity means a lot to the families of residents, as well.
If you forget to bring a copy of your driver's license, you may be invited to return with it on the 3rd Saturday of the following month.