The Tulsa SPCA has been offering our Pets Are Love (PAL) program, grounded in the philosophy and practice of Animal-Assisted Therapy, since the early 1990s. Our volunteers take pre-screened and pre-trained dogs (and, occasionally, cats) for scheduled visits to facilities in the Tulsa area on an ongoing basis. Although our program focuses on nursing homes, we also serve hospital geriatric units and other facilities that care for patients away from their homes and their companion animals. Most skilled nursing facilities are unable to maintain a pet program as part of their service, and many residents, although they can no longer care for them, desperately miss their pets.
We see the value of our PAL program reflected on the faces of the residents and patients we serve every time we arrive. During our stay, our calm and quiet dogs and cats are held, cuddled, and talked to. Studies have shown that such visitations provide emotional outlets for patients, and lead to increased socialization, relaxed mood, and an overall reduction of blood pressure, as well as boosting the general health of the people we serve.
PAL is always seeking volunteers with qualified pets of their own, or volunteers who have received the required training for handling selected dogs and cats from our shelter. We have a waiting list of facilities requesting regular visits, and are limited only by the number of volunteers and therapy dogs we have available to help.
To learn more, please call the Tulsa SPCA at 918-428-7722 and ask to speak to the person in charge of the PAL program.
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