Visiting Pet Program volunteer orientation scheduled _lowres

Photo provided by Visiting Pet Program -- Nicole Parks and her dog McKenzie check out the Visiting Pet Program's new therapy booth, which it will set up at pet events.

Orientation for pet owners interested in participating in the Visiting Pet Program will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Harahan Senior Center, 100 Elodie St., Harahan.

The orientation session also will be an opportunity to see the program’s new therapy booth, which will be available for pet events.

The 100 pets and handlers of the Visiting Pet Program bring dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits for animal therapy sessions at 20 nursing homes and hospitals in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. At facilities on both sides of the river and the lake, the Visiting Pet Program volunteers live up to their motto of “Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles” with every visit they make.

The Visiting Pet Program also provides a literacy project, Reading to Rover, in Jefferson Parish libraries. Designed to help beginning readers practice their reading-aloud skills, the gentle, patient dogs prove to be excellent listeners.

The volunteer orientation July 12 is for people only; no pets, please. Preregistration is required, and there is a $10 fee to attend.

To register for the orientation, send email to paws4visits@gmail.com. For information about the program, visit visitingpetprogram.org.