Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does Pets and Friends do?

Pets and Friends is a non-profit society. We place pet therapy teams – that is, handlers (humans) and their pets –  in health care and educational settings to provide the healing comfort of animal companionship to people living with isolation, chronic illness and other challenges. See our About Us page for more information!

Who can volunteer with Pets and Friends?

Anyone with a passion for the human-animal bond! Visit our volunteer page for more information about how to get involved!

What kind of pets can participate in the Pets and Friends program?

Any pet that can provide companionship and can pass our pet screening process can volunteer. We frequently have dogs, cats, and rabbits as volunteer pets.

Does my dog have to have all its vaccinations?

Yes. We ask for DH2PP (distemper, hepatitis/adenovirus, parvovirus and parainfluenza) vaccinations at least every three (3) years. In lieu of vaccinations, yearly titre testing results are accepted. Rabies vaccination at least every three (3) years is mandatory. We do not currently require our human volunteers to meet any health requirements unless otherwise requested by the facility at which they are placed.

I don’t see any upcoming evaluations or orientations on your website. When will the next sessions be held?

We’re thrilled you’d like to volunteer with Pets and Friends! When we open our next intake we will announce this on our website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Keep watching for more details! You’re also welcome to email us and we’ll personally advise you when we’re recruiting new pet therapy teams. In the meantime, we suggestion you review A Walk Through Our Process and our Eligibility Requirements so you’re ready to go when we connect!

Can I volunteer with more than one pet at the same time?

Pets and Friends’ policy is for one pet per handler per visitation. This is for safety reasons, and to ensure that program participants get the most ‘quality time’ possible out of each visit. If you have more than one pet whom you think would make a great visitor, there are a couple of options: 1) Alternate the pets you visit with each week or 2) Have an additional handler go through our application process so they can visit with you and your other pet at the same time. Please contact us if you have any further questions about this.

Can more than one person be the designated handler of the therapy dog?

A second person or ‘additional handler’ is welcome to volunteer with you and your pet, pending facility approval; however, s/he will need to go through our application process and attend our orientation before initiating visitations.

What certifications does my pet receive when it passes its evaluation with Pets and Friends?

Prospective therapy pets do not receive any professional certifications. Pets and Friends’ does not certify emotional support, service or assistance animals. Pet therapy teams are only able to participate in Pets and Friends’ volunteer activities.

Does my Pets and Friends volunteer status allow me to bring my dog to work with me?

Pets and Friends’ insurance policy only covers handlers and their therapy dogs during their weekly one hour pet therapy visitation when they are volunteering at their designated facility. This does not include when a volunteer is also acting in the capacity of an employee.

Where is Pets and Friends located? Why can’t I visit your office?

Pets and Friends serves communities in the lower mainland of British Columbia, from Hope to Whistler and every city in between! By keeping our operations “virtual,” we have been able to keep our costs down while still providing the healing power of the human animal bond to those in need of a friendly visit. 

Why is it important to annually renew my Pets and Friends membership?

Renewal of Pets and Friends membership enables Pets and Friends to endorse you and your pet as current on necessary shots and to insure you under the Pets and Friends insurance policy. Pets and Friends does not endorse volunteers who are not current on their membership.

I don’t have a pet. Can I still volunteer with Pets and Friends?

Absolutely! There are many ways you can be a part of our growing organization.