6) What type of facilities do PATS volunteers visit?


PATS receives numerous requests for visits by our members.  The following list captures the most common ongoing opportunities.

1. Regular Group visits

PATS provides small groups of volunteers to approximately 15 facilities throughout the region.  These visits are scheduled on a regular and repeating pattern, usually each facility receives one visit per month.  There are a few opportunities on Saturdays but the majority of group visits take place Monday to Friday during daytime hours.  Visits typically last 1 – 1/2 hours.

2. Individual Visits

Visits to seniors or others in their place of residence, it may be a private home or a care facility.   Typically a request from a family member or caregiver is disseminated via the PATS email list and the response is coordinated by the PATS Visit Coordinator.

3. De-stress events

Several times a year PATS provides groups of volunteers to visit local colleges and schools to provide a de-stress opportunity for students – usually close to exam time or shortly after term begins.  We also occasionally provide a similar experience in a workplace setting.

4. Paws and Tails

A literacy program in the schools.  This activity requires additional training (for the human half of the partnership) and a criminal record check.  Volunteers are required to be a PATS member for a minimum of 6 months prior to applying for this opportunity.

5. Pet Therapy Programs in VIHA facilities

A number of VIHA facilities accept volunteers with a PATS certified pet.   They require the handler to be a volunteer with the facility, this entails applying to the facility and participating in the orientation process; a criminal record check is also required.  Scheduling is the responsibility of the individual facility.

6. Workplace Visits

Some people, would like to include their pet in their work place.  Taking your pet to work is an arrangement between an employer and their employee. It is not a PATS activity and is not covered by our insurance.