We value and enforce the credibility of our program and our volunteers and pets.
Our pets are permitted to have more than one certified human (our certified youth handlers bring lots of smiles in nursing homes), and our humans often have more than one certified pet in our program. Some places will allow up to 2 pets with 1 handler. Team leaders will know information about their visits.
The majority of visits last between 1 and 2 hours.We do not schedule our pets for more than 2 hours.
Rules for Our People
Secondary liability insurance coverage will be supplied by Smiles and Fur Friends. Each volunteer’s own homeowner’s insurance and car insurance policies will be their primary coverage. Volunteers must keep their driver’s license, car
insurance policy and pets' rabies vaccination certificates current in our files.
By registering or renewing with Smiles and Fur Friends, the applicant agrees to abide by all Rules and procedures. Failure to abide by these rules will result in cancellation of registration or renewal. All rules, procedures, regulations, forms and other materials are subject to revision as needed, without prior notice.
By registering or renewing, all volunteers agree to inform an officer of Smiles and Fur Friends
immediately if their animal shows any sign of aggressive behavior toward other animals or persons, and to stop visiting with that animal in a Therapy Animal capacity until the matter has been resolved with our organization's President. Team leaders are required to always notify an officer of any negative action by a volunteer or a pet, and our other volunteers must also ensure the safety of everyone at all times.
To respect the privacy of all those we visit, our volunteers will NOT take pictures of faces or any identifying information of anyone other than our own volunteers. We also try to call everyone Ms. or Mr. with their first names, like Ms. Ann or Mr. Joe. Health care workers are required to follow the HIPAA Act (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). HIPAA provides protection for a person’s medical information, including information in their medical records, conversations between doctors and/or nurses abut a patient’s treatment, or their billing information. Compliance is required by health care providers (doctors, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes), health plans and health care clearing houses. Although we are not health care providers, our volunteers are to never mention or share any medical information they may see or overhear about any of the residents or patients we visit. Click on the blue button to download “HIPAA Compliance” information.
Volunteers should never visit if they have any illness or fever. Many clients are fragile. And be very aware of any "infectious" or "do not enter" sign by a resident's or patient's door.
Renewal each year occurs in January and is not automatic. Anyone not renewed by the end of January is pulled from our roster, is no longer permitted to visit with their pet, and is no longer covered by our group's insurance.