Visiting Pets

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The presence of animals can enrich people’s lives. St. John’s visiting pets program, involving dogs and other animals, was established more than 10 years ago. It offers opportunities for elders to experience a connection that they may have had with a pet before coming to St. John’s, or to create a new relationship that brings warmth, comfort, and contentment. Visiting pets is also an amazing way to volunteer.  


With the recognition that animals can enhance the quality of life in our communities, St. John's has developed the following guidelines in accordance with the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Long Term Care Services. These guidelines were developed to provide for the safety and pleasure of elders, visitors, and pets.

Minimum Guidelines Regarding Visiting Pets at St. John's Home:

1. The pet owner must notify St. John's Home prior to the first visit and when any change in future visitation times will occur.
2. The pet owner must provide written documentation of current vaccinations with the name and telephone number of attending veterinarian in advance of the initial visit.  Please use the Home’s Animal Authorization Registration Form (AARF) available below. The completed form should be filed with the Therapeutic Recreation office and a copy will be kept on file with Protective Services.
3. The animals must be clean, properly groomed, and healthy.
4. The pet owner will be responsible for his/her pet’s behavior.
5. The pet owner will be responsible for cleaning up any mess attributed to the animal.
6. The animal must be on a leash and/or in a cage at all times and cannot be left unattended unless approved by staff member’s supervisor.
7. Animals will not be permitted in dining areas during meals or in laundry areas at any time.
8. St. John's ensures that elders have the right to not participate with the pet and that a statement to accommodate the needs of residents who are allergic has been developed.

Other Suggested Guidelines:

  • Please update the Animal Authorization Registration Form annually.
  • Pets should be able to respond to owners commands, i.e., come, stay, heel.
  • Pets should be screened to determine predictability in certain situations.
  • Pets should have proper exercise and time out from elders.


Visiting Pet Registration Form (24.02 KB)

Please return complete forms to the Therapeutic Recreation Department at St. John’s Home.

St. John's invites you to be a part of the visiting pet experience, bringing joy to the lives of our elders. Contact  at 585-760-1293 or  at 585-760-1292 to get started today!