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Animal Assisted Therapy Volunteer Opportunities

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Pippin dog visiting a patient
Pippin at City of Hope

Why do we take animals to visit? We want to share our animals with other people - especially those who are more vulnerable, lonely, or in pain. Working with the people we visit is rewarding and fun. It is wonderful to see the affection between the patients and the dogs. In the case of some of the children we visit, the Love On 4 Paws program is their first opportunity to touch or play with an animal.

Being a Love On 4 Paws volunteer is not always easy. You'll have to deal with hospital requirements (TB tests, written exams), frequent dog baths, yearly dog health exams, LA traffic, etc. But, the joy and happiness you and your wonderful animal can bring to people who are bedridden, in wheelchairs, or isolated from normal companionship is unbelievable!!!

Love On 4 Paws volunteers need to be 18 or more years old, and must be able to pass a basic background check.

Ok, I'm Sold! How do I get started volunteering?

  1. Read the FAQs carefully.
  2. Complete and submit the online questionnaire.
  3. LO4P will contact you to discuss attending the next orientation class / formal evaluation. These classes are only held a few times each year.
  4. Once the next orientation class is scheduled, LO4P will send you some paperwork to complete. A one-time (non-refundable) $50 fee is required at this time to cover the orientation class & formal evaluation session.
  5. After we receive your check and completed paperwork from step D., LO4P will call to confirm your spot at the next orientation class.
  6. When you attend the orientation class, you will fill out some additional paperwork. Then, the LO4P team will evaluate if your dog is truly ready for the job. (Not everyone passes on the first try. Don't be too discouraged; with additional training, a second try may well be successful. And no additional $50 fee will be required.)
  7. Once you pass the LO4P evaluation, your next step will be obtaining a hospital clearance. This process is a bit involved, but LO4P can help you get through it.
  8. And finally: your first visit -- with a personal coach. Congratulations! For your first few visits, you will be accompanied by an experienced Love On 4 Paws volunteer acting as your coach. We want you to enjoy visiting with your dog and have the skills you need to be successful. You must be willing to treat your program commitment seriously. Although we are volunteers, visits must be treated like a "job" and handled professionally.
Wags and wiggles bring smiles and giggles. Join the FUN!
    Love On 4 Paws, Animal Assisted Therapy, Los Angeles County, California, (310) 547-2200

Serving Culver City, Downey, Gardena, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Lomita, North Hollywood, Pasadena, San Pedro, Torrance, and West Hills.