Pet Partners of Southern Arizona is a Community Partner of the national non-profit, Pet Partners. Our all-volunteer group  is a 501c3 organization working soley in the greater Tucson and Southern Arizona area. With our registered Pet Partners Therapy Animals at our side, we bring joy and comfort to others in places where pets traditionally are not allowed. 
WHAT IS A THERAPY ANIMAL?
A therapy animal is someone’s pet, who along with their handler, have been screened to be appropriate to visit people in places where animals are traditionally not allowed. Therapy animals are taken to hospitals, assisted-living and hospice centers, domestic violence shelters, libraries, schools and many other places. Therapy Animals can be dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses and other domesticated animals. 
Never underestimate the power of snuggles! Therapy animal visits can result in lowering patients’ blood-pressure, stress, and anxiety levels. They can help people forget about their pain and bring a sense of normalcy to those in need of a little joy and comfort. They can also inspire children to read or help calm and ease fears before a 'scary' medical procedure. Visits also benefit family members and professional care-givers in addition to the 'patient' or 'client'. 
Some teams work alongside professionals such as Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists doing Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). Before they interact with patients specific therapeutic goals for each session are identified. This could be encouraging someone recovering from a stroke to walk 3 minutes (its always more fun to walk a dog than just feel the pain in each step of walking as a means of therapy), or it could be helping a patient after a traumatic brain injury learn to speak again by having the patient give a dog commands such as sit, fetch, or bark. Learn more about AAT on the Pet Partners website.
Please Note: Therapy Animals are NOT Service Animals. A Service Animal as defined by the American with Disabilities Act is “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability”. Service Animals are allowed in public places such as restaurants, retail stores, etc. Therapy Animals are NOT entitled to this same privilege. To learn more about Service Animals visit the Handi-Dogs and Pet Partners  national websites.
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What‘s Next???

You PASSED the evaluation!! You are so anxious to start visiting, but where? What facilities are available? What should I take with me on visits? Find answers to these questions and more by Pet Partners of Southern Arizona, today. When you join PPSAZ, experienced volunteers are happy to mentor you, invite you to join them on a visit (without your own therapy animal), and find the right places for your team to visit. We encourage you to join Pet Partners of Southern Arizona, a community partner with the national organization. These are some of the benefits you will enjoy. Click here for information on joining.

   PPSAZ Support for Pet Partner Volunteers           PPSAZ Member     Non-Member

Discounted Pet Partners Renewal/Registration Fee             X
  Members pay the Community Partner rate offered  
  by the national Pet Partners association. 

* 1st time Pet Partners are helped to find a facility to               X
  visit and mentoring/shadowing opportunities to 
  assist on first visit. 

* Receive eNewsletter including helpful "knowledge               X
  sharing" information from other Pet Partner Teams.
  
* Access to Members Only page on PPSAZ website.               X

* Learn about new and existing facilities looking                                             contacted only if   
  for PPSAZ Pet Partner Teams through enewsletter                X                     help is needed
  and Help Wanted Webpage                                                                                                                                                       
 * Opportunity to help at PPSAZ information booths                 X                     contacted only if 
   and do presentations about Pet Partners at local                                         help is needed  
   events/fairs/community event.

 * Invitations to social events and educational                           X
   opportunities sponsored by PPSAZ

 * Special Visiting Opportunities managed by PPSAZ              X                       contacted only if
   (such as: special read-to-a-dog events,                                                          help is needed
   Finals destressing at U of A, Pima Community College

  * Free local evaluations                                                                X                               X 

 * Opportunity to purchase color PPSAZ Trading Cards           X
   Check "Members Only" page for details
Click here to hear Diane Alexander and Jackie Theodorakis podcast on Pet Talk


2016 PPSAZ Leadership Team

Members are always welcome at board meetings
Next meeting Monday, March 13, 6pm
rsvp info@petpartnerssoaz.org

  Diane Alexander- President
  Jackie Theodorakis  VP
  Christine Craig - Secretary
  Julie Darling  - Treasurer
  Jeremy Brown 
  Mary Jan Bancroft - Read To A Dog
  Carolyn Chilcote - Fundraising
  Judi Davis - Website
  Linda Grim - Evaluation Coordinator &         Mentoring
  Rita Hartman - Membership
  Jan Hutchinson 
  Diane Korn - Trading Cards
  Cindy Mayo - Facilities
  Barb Sinclair - Facilities
  Lynn Roberts 
  Diane Robles - eNewsletter

Interested in joining the leadership team? 
Email Diane Alexander info@PetPartnersSoAZ.org

President's Letter ​JANUARY 2017 from Diane Alexander

Recently, I was given the honor of succeeding Rita Hartman as President of PET PARTNERS OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA (PPSAZ). I know that I speak, not only for myself, but for all of us, in thanking Rita for her hard work and dedication, first as Vice President for two years and then as our President for four more. She and the Board of Directors (formerly the Leadership Committee) helped set the foundations upon which we now hope to grow.

In 2016, we formalized our structure in order to become a tax exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3). This required an extraordinary effort on the part of our Treasurer, Julie Darling. Not only did she bring our accounting practices into IRS compliance, she wrote our Bylaws, registered us with the Arizona Corporation Commission and applied to the IRS for our tax exempt status. 

So, now we are ready to grow. We need your help and guidance to do this. What do you want to see us do as an organization? Here are some areas to think about:
Additional trainings and workshops—what topics?
More group events (socials)
Expansion of the trading card program to add bookmarks and other branded product
Support for future evaluator and instructor training. (Currently, these members pay all of their own expenses.)

These are just a few ideas. Please send your thoughts and ideas to me at dialex2264@gmail.com. I promise to answer you and take your ideas and comments to the Board.
I look forward to continuing the great friendships I have made in this group and making new friends as new members join.
Finally, thank you and your Partners for all you do in our community. You make a huge difference in the lives of the people you visit.

Diane


Enroll in Fry's Community Rewards Program benefiting PPSAZ
Click here for instructions
Pet Partners of Southern Arizona is participating in the 2017 Jim Click Raffle.  Contact Jeremy Brown to purchase tickets runner229@hotmail.com to purchase tickets, starting at just $25. Click here for more details on the Ford Explorer Platinum being given away.