1. Volunteers must be a member of Canines for Christ of Greater Cincinnati. As a member in good standing (annual membership dues of $50 paid in full and dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen), you and your pet are covered by a liability insurance policy while volunteering.
2. Handlers must be at least 16 years of age to make visits alone. If the handler is younger than 16, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during visits.
3. If asked, the volunteer should be able to answer questions about the mission of Canines for Christ of Greater Cincinnati.
4. Dog should be clean – bathe or use wipes to remove allergens or dirt and/or brush before a visit.
5. If visiting a facility for the first time, be sure you bring the dog’s shot record, your signed testing paperwork, and your ID card (provided by Canines for Christ of Greater Cincinnati). Some may request a copy of our insurance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistants on documentation.
6. Follow the rules of the facility you are visiting (complete any paperwork provided, sign in/sign out for each visit, do not enter rooms or areas that are designated off limits, wear any badges provided by the facility, etc.).
7. Be professional and cooperative with staff and patients/residents.
8. Be sure to let the dog relieve itself before going into the facility. Depending on the length of your stay they may need an additional bathroom break. Be sure to pick up and remove any solid waste.
9. Pay attention to your dog to be sure they are not getting tired or stressed. 45 minutes to an hour is a good length of time to target for a stay.
10. Dogs should remain leashed at all times. Do not provide treats unless the facility has approved.
11. Toys, balls, chew sticks, bones, and other items that could be disruptive are not permitted. Rough playing with your dog is also not acceptable. Any of these things can be a liability risk.
12. We are not permitted to ask residents at nursing homes or patients in hospitals/hospice about their illness or reason they are at the facility. Their information is protected under HIPPA laws.
13. If you are doing room visits in a nursing or health care facility, be sure you are not disruptive. Do not enter if the person appears to be asleep or busy with staff or meals. If the person is available, knock and ask if they like dogs. If they do, ask if they would like a visit. If the answer to either is no, wish them a good day and move on.
14. Provide the dog with water and a bathroom break after the visit is over.