I have belonged since 2012 and this is the BEST organization. All of us in Paws for Friendship are unpaid volunteers. They DO have up to date PAID insurance. They do offer ACK Good Citizen testing, What they do not require is special training. They evaluate you and your pet to see how they and you will intermingle with others and the people and places we visit. Your pet does not have to be pure bread. They are NOT out to make money that way. PFF relies on donations and fund raisers to keep working. The dues are for your shirt, ID Tag and the pets vest Period, no other monies are asked of the members ! There have been members that have been asked to leave the organization due to there breaking the rules set for PFF and given to them upon joining along with being listed on the web page. Or have done something illegal to further their process under the guise of being PFF rules. That is the BAD REVIEWS YOU SEE IN THE POSTS. PFF is in it's 26th year, so they must be doing something right !!
I would not recommend this organization. It is not well organized and membership guidelines are unclear, especially regarding chapters. Their requirements for dogs passing their test are minimal. I have seen several comments that they are quick to criticize members and use threats of law suits and slanderous comments. I have a friend who used to belong to this organization and they had her in tears with their threats. It appears it is run by someone more interested in money than supporting and understanding their members. There are far better therapy dog organizations out there. It is interesting that most of the 5 star comments were all written within 3 days of each other.
Update: It has just come to my attention that when a member drops out of Paws for Friendship and returns the items, the president has resorted to calling private homes that the former member is visiting and upsetting frail elderly people by telling them that the former member has no insurance. How does this president know what other insurance the member might have? What a cruel tactic! Apparently facilities have also been notified by this president and given similar information. How can a person running a therapy dog organization stoop so low?
Review from Guidestar
Obviously, I am not the only one who has had a TERRIBLE experience with this “organization”. I use that term loosely, as I have not seen one “organized “ thing about them. This group discourages training, and discourages Canine Good Citizen testing.
I have seen first hand this group care more about money, back stabbing, and making threats than I have seen them care about the residents we help.
I will be finding my dogs a much more suitable and well run organization. I am hurt and upset that in trying to share my dogs and spread happiness I have come across such a selfish, and mean bunch of people.
Paws for Friendship is a non-profit that has members all over the US that on their own time take their dogs and cats to many facilities like senior homes, schools for their Paws to Read program, memory care centers, colleges during exam and stressful times and many other places. We members enjoy taking our pets and seeing others have the benefit of enjoying our dogs and cats.
This is a wonderful organization that services homes for the elderly, hospitals, libraries and schools. Totally volunteer organization where we visit people and kids can read to our dogs in our Paws To Read program in schools and libraries. It is an honor to be able to help so many with the support of this organization.
Great organization! I have been a member for two years and have enjoyed and been totally confident in the group. Always positive visits and comments from facility coordinators. Director Jan, is truly a wonderful person with a dedicated heart for the group. I look forward to many years with Paws. Seems negative comments from members that did not meet basic requirements of the group or did not research he club. All dealings with members I know are perfectly satisfied with internal workings of Paws. This is an honest group with a true goal of providing comfort to those that need it.
I have been a part of this organization for 10 years. Even once I lost my dog, I was still allowed to volunteer in other capacities and was very thankful for this. Paws for Friendship has done nothing but share love of pets to those in need. As an all-volunteer organization (no one receives any type of monetary compensation, not even the Founder) we are a group of people dedicated to bring joy and happiness to those in need. Everyone plays an important role serving and giving their time by visiting, fundraising, marketing, etc... I saw several notes previously regarding insurance lapse in coverage. The fact of the matter is that as soon as we were told of the coverage issue we rectified immediately. We notified all volunteers with complete transparency and provided update insurance certificates. There have been volunteers asked to leave the group for causing issues with other volunteers they had personal issue with. We do not condone drama or pettiness. We are a group of responsible and caring individuals with the same goal. Please be sure to read all of the comments and keep that in mind when you see the ones with low ratings. We are not perfect and we cannot make everyone happy, however, we strive to make those we visit happy and bring them joy. That is why we exist and have been able to operate for and celebrate 25 years
BEWARE OF JOINING THIS PET THERAPY GROUP!
Sorry to say this but was very disappointed with my experience as a volunteer for this organization. Most importantly promises made before I joined included that volunteers would have liability insurance policy for their visits. Now finding out that for many years they didn't have the policies they said they did, and I submitted falsified proof of insurance documents to facilities I wanted to visit as part of the process to get my dog approved to make visits. Don't appreciate being made a dupe in their deceptive practices. They took my money but didn't deliver.
I volunteered with this organization for 5 years. *Then* I found out last December that they'd allowed their volunteers' liability insurance coverage to lapse and had sent out altered insurance documents to the facilities I was visiting for 3 1/2 of those years, putting not only the facilities at risk but each and every one of us volunteers. This is a completely unacceptable way for an organization like this to operate and I will never trust them again. I feel betrayed.
I can not express enough how much Paws For Friendship has touch my families life since we joined. Seeing the joy on the patients faces when we walk in the rooms. It brings us just as much joy. Not only are the visits amazing but the group is also. Love going to the Yappy hours and meeting other members. Plan to stay with this incredible organization a long time!
A top knotch non-profit organization that provides a valuable service to those who need the service. The smiles on the faces of the patients who loves when PAWS comes to visit is very rewarding. The kids at the library for the read visits also love this time. A very satisfying way to spend time volunteering. I have been affiliated with the organization for many years and refer my adopters who adopt greyhounds from my organization to Paws For Friendship for these worth while activities.
I have been not just a volunteer but a Coordinator for PFF. On 12/6/2016, as a Coordinator I was a part of an email group from another Chapter alerting the CEO and the coordinators to the fact that the insurance certificates we all had since JULY 2013, were fraudulent. The CEO has no good answer for this. The CEO says this is because of something that happened in 2012. No good explanation for the ins. cert. in my hand that states coverage JULY 2016 to July 2017. I have tried to understand and get the truth. Also there are no "reportable financials", no acting board, no reports, nothing. Board members have told me they quit because they had no access to any info. Believe there is criminal fraud in the insurance certs., and an underreporting of $$ received yearly from members. The Florida Attorney General's office has been notified. Hoping someone can at least get an answer as to the insurance certificates. I took the insurance certificate to a public school board, PFF was allowed on school campus only because of the insurance. The premise of the organization and members are great, the leadership is doing something rotten.
As a former patient in a nursing home/rehab facility it is such a pleasure to give back with monthly visits with my Therapy Dog, a retired Greyhound. I'm proud to be a member of PAWS For Friendship. It is wonderful to see all the smiling faces from patients as well as staff when we visit. They remember her and many call her by name. PAWS FOR FRIENDSHIP is needed and appreciated.
Great organization, serves a very worthy purpose providing much needed pet therapy to anyone who could use a visit from a loving pet. Time well spent and very gratifying.
I've been involved with them for many years & they are a wonderful group. The people that run this organization should be very Proud...They give so much of themselves to help the ones that need it the Most.
I just started volunteering for this organization and right away I could see that it is very well organized. Aside from that, the opportunities they give us to share our precious pets with other people is so rewarding. My Lab, Dude enjoys all the attention, pats on the head and ear rubs. Just to think that a simple visit to someone could turn their day around is so fulfilling.
This nonprofit is an awesome organization! They do so much for the community and enrich people's lives in every way imaginable. I will continue to support their efforts and the difference they make throughout Connecticut, and the eventually the world! Proud of you Jen!
I have been in contact with a friend that participates in the Paws for Friendship. She is amazing person that takes her little guy where ever he is needed and at any time. This organization is getting the animals back into society, and showing there is people that care about one another.
Our daughter is currently being mentored & is working with Paws for Friendship for her Ag Ed project(SAEP). She's had wonderful opportunities to help bring joy & happiness to the young and old alike and has gained valuable Econ compassion through this amazing outreach.
She has loved everything that she has done with this group and has said that "Paws for Friendship" puts a smile on everyone's face as soon as they see them coming.
Thank you for this opportunity and I pray that anyone who is in need of cheering up gets the opportunity to have a visit from them.
Paws For Friendship is an amazing organization. I take my fur kids to nursing homes and seeing the smiles they bring to others makes my heart happy. God bless all of you who do so much to make others happy, even if it is for a short while.
Paws For Friendship should be named a National Treasure. Never in my life have I met such dedicated and compassionate dogs and people so invested in helping others. And all volunteer. Where do we find more like you?