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Pet Therapy

Furry friends bring smiles.

You and your best friend can become part of our Pet Connections program. Join our menagerie of dogs, cats, rabbits and miniature horses!

A great therapy animal is friendly, confident, calm and likes visiting people. Dogs should be controllable on a leash, welcoming to strangers, non-aggressive with other dogs and have basic obedience skills. All pet teams must be evaluated and registered with a national pet therapy organization. We can assist you in navigating the registration process. Teams also are required to complete a comprehensive training program.

Pet therapy teams typically visit with patients from one to two hours per week in many different settings: skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, group homes, patients’ private homes, and inpatient hospice homes.

We have 120 Pet Connections Teams! To find out more, call (602) 636-6336.

Meet some of our therapists
Molly

My Breed:
Golden Retriever

My Human Partner:
Frank Turco

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since:
2011

My interests, hobbies and talents:
I was born in Oklahoma in 2009 at a puppy mill and bred to become a “mom.” The owners kept me in a cage and seldom allowed me to run free and play with other dogs. Fortunately, when I was eight months old, the business closed and Arizona Golden Rescue took me to Phoenix. A month later, my new owners took me to my forever home. After a while, they decided to put me to work — this time as a therapy dog. Because of my puppy mill memories, I was a bit worried about working. But as it turned out, being a therapy dog isn’t really work after all. All I need to do is let people fuss over me, pet me, hug me and say nice things about me. What’s not to love about that?

My work at HOV:
You should see how excited I get when my dad brings out my doggie work bag and puts my HOV vest on me. I beat him to the car every time. My dad and I work every week, visiting patients at a group home and at a skilled nursing facility where we have made many special friends and have a great time. We roam the halls and see lots of different people, many of whom ask us to come into their rooms. Whenever I see someone in a wheelchair no matter where we are, I pull my dad over to them so I can tell them “hello.” These people usually give me a few pets and a hug, too. In addition to my regular stops, I am very lucky because we regularly take part in many other HOV activities, including new volunteer orientation, community events and employee wellness visits. I was even featured one time in a Hospice of the Valley calendar. I’m so glad I ended up in my forever home, doing this wonderful work.

Duncan

My Breed:
Afghan Hound

My Human Partners:
John and Pam Hickey

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since:
2015

My interests, hobbies and talents:
Duncan was born in Phoenix in 2010 among a litter of twelve. Although he was bred to be a show dog, he was disqualified for congenital issues. Thankfully his human parents had no desire to show him anyway. Instead they intended to train him to be a therapy dog when they adopted him as a young puppy. Duncan was a born natural at his therapy work and required less training than his humans!

Duncan gets brushed every day and a shower once a week, complete with conditioning and combing of his long, lovely locks. He goes for long walks each day with his human Dad and big adopted sister (Yana Rose, another blue brindle Afghan Hound whom he loves very much). Weighing 61 pounds, Duncan thinks of himself as a “little” dog and likes other little dogs. His favorite pastimes are keeping the sofa or bed warm and hanging out with his Dad. No day is complete without his regular, passionate patrols of the backyard for cats. He loves to go for car rides, the longer the better.

My work at HOV:
Duncan has been a therapy dog since he was one year old. As an Afghan Hound, he is the perfect height to lay his head in a patient’s lap or bedside for a gentle pat on his head and rub behind his ear. If offered a treat by a patient, he gently takes it from their delicate hands, as if he understands how fragile they are. He is very sensitive and actually cried with a grieving family. Duncan has a diverse resume with HOV, including Ryan House, skilled nursing facilities, memory units, private homes and employee wellness visits at several HOV locations. He knows he is going to work when his Dad puts his HOV scarf on him.

Pet Loss
Support Group

Pets are part of our families. Losing their constant companionship and unconditional love can be devastating. Hospice of the Valley hosts a Pet Loss Support Group for those grieving the loss of their beloved companion.

Pet Loss Support