By Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator
Tim has been volunteering at SICSA for three years and is one of our most experienced Pet-Facilitated Therapy (PFT) volunteers. He started volunteering because, at the time, he didn’t have a dog, and volunteering at SICSA gave him some of his own personal pet therapy. Many SICSA volunteers and staff members have found their own pets while working or volunteering at SICSA. Taking animals to an offsite event or to a PFT visit is the perfect time to bond with a new furry friend. Like so many others have done, Tim met his current dog, Rosie, because of SICSA. Tim met Rosie on the first PFT visit he ever did. Rosie happened to be the dog chosen to go that day, and she and Tim bonded during the visit. When they arrived back at SICSA, Tim tried to put Rosie back in her kennel and she started to shake and cry. Carolyn suggested that Tim foster Rosie for a couple of weeks and they ended up adopting each other. Tim and Rosie are a wonderful PFT team.
Tim enjoys the visits because the residents and patients are so responsive to the dogs. Visiting with SICSA adoptable dogs may bring back memories of their own pets that they then share with Tim. Everyone looks forward to when Tim and Rosie visit. Tim says that the patients at places like the Miami Valley Cancer Center, for example, are so appreciative of the time they spend with the dogs, and it makes the time he and Rosie spend at these facilities so rewarding. Rosie’s not the only one who found a new forever home because of these PFT visits. Tim can remember several times that a SICSA dog was taken on a PFT visit and met someone who later came to SICSA to adopt him or her. Not only is Tim responsible for brightening the day of countless residents and patients in these facilities, but he is facilitating matches between our homeless animals and potential adopters. “Since Tim joined the PFT Program, he has been a mainstay,” says Carolyn, Volunteer PFT Coordinator. “He averages six to seven visits a month and is always ready to pitch in when we have new volunteers in need of training. He is a favorite at all the facilities he visits.” Thank you, Tim and Rosie, for your service! If you would like to volunteer as part of our PFT program, please contact Jennie Baxla at email@example.com or view our volunteer opportunities.