Site Descriptions M - P
Menlo Park Veterans Hospital
Veterans who reside in our Community Living Center at VA Menlo Park have a variety of different diagnoses requiring skilled nursing. We specialize in serious mental illness and memory care. Our community has a wellness calendar that aims to offer a wide variety of leisure opportunities to promote the quality of life of our Veterans. This is where Furry Friends shine! We have many dog and animal lovers within our midst! In order to make our community feel more home like, our amazing volunteers at Furry Friends come to visit. They bring joy, community, friendship, and so much more to every interaction they have with our Veterans. The connection that dogs bring to our Veteran’s lives is so special and unlike anything a (human) staff member can provide! Our Veterans look forward to connecting with the volunteers and the dogs each visit. Veterans socialize and connect with their furry visitor in their own special way. Their connection to the dog aids in their socialization with the volunteer. Not only are our Veterans appreciative of the visits, the staff benefit from it as well. They are able to see the joy that the Veterans experience - in addition to the warm fuzzies they feel from petting the dogs.
Merrill Gardens - Campbell
Merrill Gardens, Campbell, is a luxurious senior living facility. Furry Friends are welcomed into the spacious lobby and common areas of the independent living area where we visit for about 20 minutes. From there, we walk through a lovely outdoor courtyard to visit the Memory Care wing. Furry Friends visit for 20-30 minutes in the living room where residents are ready and waiting for us to arrive. Many residents wish to hold a dog or have the dog sit beside them on the sofa, which is great for our smaller pets. Larger pets are welcome, too, as they can easily be reached for pats!
Merrill Gardens - Willow Glen
Merrill Gardens Willow Glen is a luxurious and welcoming senior housing facility in the heart of San Jose. Residents and staff truly enjoy our Furry Friends visits, and their smiles let us know that we are appreciated. They even ask for their favorite Furry Friend by name. We meet with residents outside in the garden courtyard, weather permitting, or indoors in the activity room if needed. After, we'll move over to the memory care area and conclude our visit there. Furry Friends of all sizes are encouraged to join the team. The visit is all on a single level, so no elevators to stress any of our Furry Friends.
Milpitas Library - Reading Buddies
This is a Reading Buddies team and all pets must have passed the Reading Buddies evaluation class. This visit takes place in a large meeting room in the Children's area of the library. Children read 10-15 minutes, depending on the number waiting on that day. Library staff are enthusiastic and promote the program.
Milpitas Library Staff Visit
The library staff have the opportunity to visit with our dogs once a month to relieve stress or just socialize. They are enthusiastic dog lovers that look forward to our visits which take place in the large auditorium. This is a relaxed visit with staff spending a lot of time with each dog.
Moldaw Residences is an upscale community where seniors live an active, independent lifestyle, and extra assistance is available as needed. Our visits start in the lobby with independent residents for 30 minutes before they depart to off-site activities. We are then escorted to the secured Memory Care Center via elevator, where residents are gathered in a common area for another 30 minutes; we may also visit individuals in their rooms who aren't able to join the group.
National Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation Services
The National Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation Services provides a continuum of comprehensive care and treatment during the two-week residential program for adults in a newly-renovated residence. Our team enjoys a nurturing environment for up to 14 residents who anticipate interacting with our pets during our on-leash pet therapy visits. We gather either in an indoor cottage or outdoor secured patio. Furry Friends volunteers and their pets meet with the residents who are accompanied by friendly and welcoming mental health staff personnel.
Oak Grove High School
Oak Grove High School’s Wellness Center is dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing, and educational outcomes of students. Students always look forward to visits from Furry Friends and are offered the opportunity to learn how animals can improve our emotional health. Visits are held in a large group room inside the Wellness Center or outside on a grassy area (when weather permits). Visits are for small classes, staff, and the overall student population.
Pacific Gardens is a nice nursing home in Santa Clara. We visit the memory care unit in their recreation room and then we visit with assisted living residents both in their recreation room as well as visiting room to room. They welcome all sizes of dogs but smaller dogs who can sit on laps or beds are especially loved. The staff also love to interact with the dogs as well.
Palm Villas is an assisted living facility that specializes in caring for those with memory impairments such as Alzheimer's and dementia. When the weather is nice, visits are held in an outside courtyard area that includes a large bird cage with birds. Otherwise the visits are held in a large room inside of the facility, although residents might be in the entryway or hallway where they also enjoy greeting Furry Friends volunteers. We have had success with lap dogs, larger dogs, and even a chicken at this visit where both the staff and residents love engaging with the animals.
Palo Alto Veterans Hospital
The VA Palo Alto Health Care System offers comprehensive health care services to veterans and non-veterans on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Due to Covid restrictions, our visits are focus on one side of the VA “campus”. The visit begins in 3 small groups in activity rooms and occasionally private rooms inside Bldg. 500. The 3 groups visit the Western Blind Recovery Center, the PTRP (a residential rehab program treating service members having either an acquired or traumatic brain injury or a need for rehab after an amputation), and the IETP (a 3-week evaluation program for active duty Special Forces service members with mild to moderate brain or other injuries). This is followed by a visit to the patios of the mental health units nearby Bldg. 520. Our team visits every Monday except federal holidays, and our Furry Friends are all canine.
ProMedica / Manor Care
ProMedica (formerly known as Manor Care) is a very nice 100+ bed facility where Furry Friends has been visiting for many years. This facility has a section for longer-term residents, a section for patients who are convalescing from recent medical care, and a memory care section. Residents are delighted to see the animals; visits are conducted room-to-room based on a list provided by the activities staff. Both small and large dogs are welcome, but must be good with cats, as there are two cats on the team as well. Additional cats are also welcome, as well as other animals. All animals must be on-leash; many residents are restricted to beds, so small dogs should be able to be picked up and shown to the residents.