Pet Partners Brings Puppy Love to the Masses

Small Investment by the Community Foundation Making a Big Impact.

April 1, 2016 (Syracuse, NY) – Soon more community members will be able to benefit from the loving support gleaned from a pet therapy dog visit, thanks to a successful recruitment effort to expand these offerings to a wider region.

A little over a year ago, Pet Partners of Syracuse received a Community Foundation grant to assist the organization in purchasing technology that could be used to conduct recruiting presentations.  With the help of this new equipment, the organization estimated it would be able to add 15 new teams to its roster of pet therapy teams. These all-volunteer teams visit schools, nursing homes, hospitals, libraries and community outreach programs to provide comfort and emotional support in stressful situations.

In reality, the outcome from this investment far exceeded Pet Partners’ expectations; the organization was able to add 29 new teams to its roster! More recently, Pet Partners added even more new teams, bringing the total number to over fifty, according to Susan Pedrosa, Co-President of Pet Partners.

The enhanced recruitment efforts and addition of new members has led to an increase in the number of yearly evaluation sessions the program conducts. The purpose of an evaluation session is to determine which setting each therapy team is best suited for. Just two years ago, Pet Partners was only conducting about six evaluations. Today, the number of yearly evaluations has doubled. In fact, Pedrosa is training to become an evaluator herself, so that she can assist the one evaluator the organization has now.

Pet Partners has expanded so tremendously, that the organization has decided to change its name from Pet Partners of Syracuse to Pet Partners of CNY. The decision to change the organization’s name came about as Pet Partners began serving the greater Central New York area and adding teams from Rome, Utica, Watertown, Fort Drum, and even Rochester.

“Going through the grant process really helped us,”says Susan.

While Pet Partners has had extraordinary success, it is still always looking to add new members. “We’re always going to be a one-hundred percent volunteer organization”, says Susan.

As for the future of Pet Partners, Susan shared the organization’s plans to unveil a new website, introduce new marketing materials, and conduct the regional practicum for certification of new Pet Partner team members in the Northeast.

“We’re starting to think like a larger corporation…we’re always thinking ahead,” says Susan.

The grant given to Pet Partners was made possible by the Tiny Rubenstein Animal Welfare Fund, a fund created in memory of Tiny Rubenstein to support organizations that promote the health, safety, comfort, and welfare of animals.

View a video from our 2015 Annual Report about Pet Partners:


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