PET VISIT PROGRAM
There are doctors, nurses, pharmacists.
Then there are the specialists.
Bringing comfort and companionship to people who need tender loving care - particularly seniors in nursing homes - are more than three hundred PAL volunteers and their loving dogs.
Even with the best doctors and the highest-quality health care, people need something beyond pills and procedures. They need connection and meaning.
While PAL teams visit many types of sites, 85% of our visits are with the elderly. Many of these seniors have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and our volunteers visit month after month, year after year. Most of the people we visit can't own a pet, which is a real loss to those who were devoted pet owners throughout their earlier lives.
The volunteers who visit are truly a generous and kind-hearted collection of people and pets.
In 2011, 280 PAL certified volunteer teams have brought comfort to people at 36 sites − nursing homes, mental health facilities, hospitals, libraries and Stanton Elementary − and over 8,000 people got a wagging tail or delighted gaze through more than 600 hours of volunteered time.
We currently have 320 volunteers and their dogs going out into the community and visiting at 39 public sites.
This is important work - the senior population in the U.S. will double in the next thirty years, meaning more people will be in need of affection. PAL is working hard to expand our volunteer pool so we can better meet this need.
If you drop by any of the places below, you might see a PAL dog bringing smiles and laughter.
Arleigh Burke Pavilion Nursing & Assisted Living
Arlington Central Library
Arlington Library- Shirlington Branch
Arlington Library- Columbia Pike Branch
Arlington Library- Westover Branch
Alexandria Library- Beatley Branch
Alexandria Library- Duncan Branch
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Burnt Mills Elementary School
Capitol Hill Supportive Services
Chinn Park Regional Library
Episcopal Center for Children
Goodwin House Alexandria
Goodwin House West
Heritage Hall Nursing & Rehab
Inova Behavioral Health
IONA Senior Services
Knollwood Retirement Home
Little Sisters of the Poor
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
National Rehabilitation Hospital
Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute
PAL Club at Stanton Elementary
Pohick Regional Library
Sibley Hospital Center
Specialty Hospital of Washington
Stoddard Baptist Home
St. Coletta's of Greater Washington
St. Elizabeth's Hospital
Veterans Administration Medical Center
Woodbine Rehab & Healthcare Center
There are teachers, tutors and worksheets.
Then there is PAL Club and PAL Camp.
Kids are naturally curious about animals and at PAL Club, we give kids the chance to explore and learn. They meet and care for dogs, rabbits and reptiles. Children read books about squirrels, habitats and the environment. They go bird-watching and bug-catching. They visit the zoo, the Smithsonian museum and canoe on the Anacostia River.
And, most importantly, the children practice animal-friendly behavior – talking quietly, listening closely and petting softly.
For low-income children struggling with gaps in their academic, social and emotional skills, the animal-centric PAL Club and Camp builds on the children's natural affinity for animals to stimulate scientific inquiry, improve reading and math and reward good behavior.
As a year-round program, it makes a unique, long-term commitment to children and their families.
Located in Southeast DC at Stanton Elementary , PAL is helping ensure all children begin life with a solid academic foundation and meet or exceed national No Child Left Behind standards.
The afterschool program and summer camp are offered in partnership with DC Public Schools Out-of-School Time Office, which provides space, security, janitorial services and coordination. PAL Club runs after school during the school year and PAL Camp is held for four weeks during the summer.
DC youth from the Department of Employment Services Summer Youth Program provide helping hands at Camp in the summer, learning and growing alongside their younger neighbors.
This program is funded by the DC Office of the State Superintendent for Schools and the Federal 21st CCLC program.
The loss of a pet may be one of the most difficult times we face. Many of us have developed a strong bond with our companion animal and the loss of this friend is like losing a part of the family. People coping with this loss need to find comfort.
The Pet Loss Support Line connects grieving people to a helpful counselor, a professional who specializes in grief and loss, who will talk to you about your experience.
Call the Pet Loss Support Line at 202-966-2171. If calling after hours, leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.
ANIMAL RELATED CAREERS CONSORTIUM (ARCC)
For more information, please contact Dr. Earl. O Strimple or Brick Brewer.