Six ancillary projects are covered here. Selected volunteers will each make scheduled visits to these facilities once a month, or more, and visit their assigned nursing homes during the rest of each month.
Virginia Piper Cancer Center
A cadre of 10 volunteer-pet teams rotate scheduled visits at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, so that a team visits Monday through Thursday each week. A team will spend one to two hours on each visit, first greeting patients in the lobby on their way to treatment or a consultation, then proceeding upstairs to visit with patients while they are undergoing treatment. The serious looks on patients’ faces soon melt into smiles when they spot the dog and momentarily can forget their plight as they pet and talk to the dog.
Teams visit in the main lobby, library, gift shop, waiting rooms, in several treatment rooms, as well as staff offices letting the patients and staff members interact with the dogs. Some dogs will also do tricks to bring levity to a very serious situation. The visits seem to be good therapy not only for the patients but for the staff and volunteers of HonorHealth as well.
Pets on Wheels volunteer, Diane Bykowski, coordinates visits of the therapy pet teams.
STARS (Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services)
Pets on Wheels volunteer teams began visiting the two Scottsdale locations in late 2015. These locations provide services to teens and adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities throughout Scottsdale and the Greater Phoenix community.