Pet-A-Pet Program


Humane Society of Tampa Bay volunteers take their own pets to nursing homes and long term care units to visit with the residents as pet therapy. To an elderly or terminally ill person who loves pets but can no longer have one, petting a cat or having their hand licked by a dog makes a huge difference in their quality of life, even if it is just for that one moment. The smiles on their faces say it all.

Would you like to visit assisted living establishments with your pet? If you are not yet a HSTB volunteer please complete a volunteer application and attend an orientation if you have not already done so. Our Volunteer Page provides additional information. Keep in mind this program is very full and finding enough assisted living places to accept each volunteer can be difficult. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Requirements for the Pet-a-Pet program: You will be visiting a nursing home with your own personal dog or cat, not a shelter animal. You know your pet better than anyone & can help determine if he or she is a suitable candidate. Current shot records are required, and dogs will need to be SAFER (aggression assessment) tested by a qualified HSTB staff member.

How it helps: Please read more about the Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy. Just one of the many benefits of petting a cat/dog is that it is known to lower blood pressure.

Who to contact: If you know of a nursing home or assisted living facility that would be interested in the Pet-A-Pet program, or if you would like someone to visit your facility please contact Ornella Varchi or call 813-774-4344.

The soothing sound of a purr. The exuberant canine kiss. The satiny brush of soft fur. The many things some people miss. A soft nuzzle from a furry friend. Lifts spirits and makes a smile. Wishing the visit would never end. Happy and relaxed all the while.

Happy Tails # 158
I adopted Nollie (then named Paris) in November of 2010. She is now just over a year old and probably the funnest cat I know. Sometimes I believe she thinks that she is a dog because she likes to play fetch and will only play with dog toys! Oh and she is the best cuddler! Life would not be complete without my Nollie 🙂

~Amanda Puentes

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