I've volunteered at the Actors & Others benefits and events, and have been delighted at every turn by both the warmth and generosity of the people who staff and volunteer for them (including some FOUNDERS who are still dedicated to it decades later), and also by the great work they've done and continued to do.
Plus, the Hollywood celebrity connections make their events always surprising and engaging - last year's Betty White tribute was hilarious! And all the more poignant hearing the stories of Betty's dedication to her retriever, Pontiac.
After finding Bailey on the street in the winter of 2010, I quickly became aware of his gentle nature and effect on myself and everyone we met. One day at the dog park, I learned about Actors & Others For Animals and contacted Stephanie about Bailey possibly becoming a Therapy Dog. She was wonderful and informative! Bailey first had to pass a 6-week beginner dog training class, and after he completed that, he was brought to the Actors & Others For Animals office for an evaluation. They loved him! He has a great combination of energy and gentleness, so he's both energetic and calm. He is not bothered by loud noises or crutches/walkers, adapts well to new environments, and is very good with strangers. Stephanie got us in touch with the Sherman Oaks Hospital patient activity co-ordinator, and after I filled out the proper volunteer forms, and completed the other volunteer requirements, she and another Pet Therapy volunteer escorted Bailey and I around the hospital for our first visit. It was great! Among the many patients we visited, one that truly stood out was an elderly blind woman who laughed like a young girl when I picked Bailey up to meet her and he licked her nose! How sweet! Thank you Stephanie and Actors & Others For Animals for this opportunity to volunteer with your Pet Therapy program! ~ Monica & Bailey ~ : )
my name is yofi i am a Bernese mountain dog (4 years old, CGC and a TD). My moms name is Reviva. We wanted to do voluntary work. we contacted Actors and Others for Animals and were welcomed so graciously by Stephanie and . I passed my test and impressed everybody with my great personality. We are going to work at West Hills Hospital under the guldens of stephanei .We are looking forwards to continue working as volunteers and we want to thank this great organization for a wonderful experience and opportunity to learn and grow and contribute with much bark appreciation Yofi
"Actors and Others for Animals" has filled a need in my dog’s and in my own life, while allowing us to have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Their Pet Therapy Program and its skillful volunteer coordinator make volunteering easy and so fulfilling.
My dog, Perry, has a very strong work ethic and was constantly searching for his "job". I was perfectly happy with his companionship, but he needed more.
One day I stumbled upon information about the "Actors and Others for Animals" Pet Therapy Program. It was a perfect fit.
Perry delights in greeting his friends, collecting smiles, doing tricks and generally basking in attention but he never seems to forget that it’s about making the patients feel better. Sometimes that means just lying quietly with them or giving them a reason to stretch out their hand and pet him.
I’m grateful the Actors and Others for Animals Program lets us do this.
I have been volunteering for Actors and Others for Animals with my black lab, Jack. It is a wonderful organization in helping all animals and their owners. Jack was trained at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Raphael, California. He did not pass because they said he was timid in traffic. He is a perfect dog, very well trained and loves EVERYBODY! He was "interviewed" at Actors and Others by Stephanie Park, who is a wonderful volunteer and has been with the organization for years. He passed their test with no problems. We have been visiting convalescent hospitals and this has been very gratifying. The patients love Jack and yesterday when we visited, a woman told Jack that he made her day! He has his regular fan club and some patients want a picture of him. They may not know my name, but they all know Jack.
Actors and others makes all this possible and I really can't begin to say what a wonderful organization this is.
Carole Cohen and Jack
I first connected with Actors and Animals when I picked up a pit bull running loose in the neighborhood. The group helped me get him neutered.
Through that process, I learned about the animal therapy program, and I've been volunteering ever since with my dog Melita at a convalescent home. We have wonderful relationships with many of the long-term residents there. Actors and Others has been hugely supportive finding the location, providing insurance, providing name badges and t-shirts, and periodically checking in to see how things are going.
I've been a volunteer for Actors and Others for about ten years, and have spent eight of those visiting patients at a senior care facility with my Aussie Shepherd mix, Benny. Many of the patients suffer from dementia, or live with the long term effects of diabetes, have had strokes, and are there for permanent care; most never return home. Over the years many of the friends we've made have passed away, and even Benny is my second pet therapy dog who has been trained for this work. But patients love to see us, and they especially love Benny, who is very gentle and affectionate, and often reminds them of their own dogs. Seeing him brings a spark to their eyes and warms their hearts. We would not have been able to do this without Actors and Others for Animals' support; they help coordinate my volunteer services and make sure all the paper work and insurance is in place. I couldn't have done this work for the last ten years without their support.
Actors and Others for Animals is an AMAZING organization that has been around since 1971. The list of celebrities alone that are attached to this phenomenal organization show how passionately the acting community has rallied to support the tremendous work that AOA does for animal welfare. But it isn't just an organization for actors--any one that cares about our sweet animals and their welfare--couldn't pick a better organization to donate to and be connected with. I was brought into the fundraising committee by a dear friend, Jackie, a couple of years ago. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this wonderful group. If you are not familiar with them please check them out--our animals need your help!
I first became aware of Actors and Others for Animals in the 80's when I was asked to MC a fund raiser. Over the years I have continued to follow their services and the difference they make in the community. I am not honored to be a volunteer with them and have seen first had the good work they do. I couldn't recommend them if I didn't believe in the work they do...and I do.