Faithful Friends is purely a volunteer organization. We are located in Clear Lake City, Texas (just south of Houston). If you would be interested in joining us, here are the membership requirements:
– Age Restrictions
There are absolutely no age restrictions for joining Faithful Friends. We have volunteers of all age groups represented. This is truly a ministry in which the whole family can participate together. We have several husband and wife teams. We have lots of mothers and fathers who bring their kids on the visits. We even have daughters and sons who bring their parents on the visits! Take for example this couple on the right.
Their daughter joined Faithful Friends with her dogs, Sarah and Abraham. She brought both of her parents to the workshop and got them involved in Faithful Friends. Now, the daughter has gotten married and moved away, but her parents are still very active in the ministry, shown here with Sarah.
If you are under the age of 16, and you wish to handle an animal on a visit, you will be required to perform the temperament test with your animal. This is intended to demonstrate that you will be able to handle the pet in the environments that you will be seeing on the visits.
– Pet Ownership
You are NOT required to own a pet to be a member of Faithful Friends. There are many people in Faithful Friends who have more than one (1) pet that is registered in the ministry. On a visit, a person is only allowed to handle one (1) animal. Therefore, those volunteers who have more than one (1) pet sometimes have to leave their other pets at home.
We try to match volunteers who have more than one (1) pet with volunteers who do not have a pet. In this manner, all the animals get to participate, which they do get upset if they get left at home, and more visitors are available for the patients and residents.
– New Volunteer Workshop
You must attend a new volunteer workshop. The workshops are given several times during the year, generally three (3) to four (4) times a year. They are always held on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon. The workshops are held at University Baptist Church. University Baptist Church is located at 16106 Middlebrook Drive, one block north of Bay Area Blvd. To register for the next workshop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Veterinarian Records
Due to the types of facilities that we visit, it is extremely important that we have all of our records updated with the latest veterinarian visits for all of our animals. We require the animals be vaccinated against all diseases that can be transmitted from animal to human, human to animal, or animal to animal. We also require that a copy of the shot records be kept on file with Faithful Friends in the case that they are requested by auditing agencies of the facilities which we visit.
– Temperament Test
Each month, Faithful Friends holds a temperament test. Each animal must pass this temperament test before joining Faithful Friends. This temperament test is then re-administered to the animal in the month in which the animal has its rabies vaccination. The temperament test is NOT an obedience trial. It is strictly a test to see how the animal reacts to strangers and to strange environments. The purpose of the test is to ensure that no signs of aggression are made by the animal when they are subjected to the new people and new environments.
– Visit without a Pet
Each new volunteer is required to make one visit to any facility without a pet BEFORE they can bring a pet on a visit. This gives the new volunteer an opportunity to watch the way in which the pets interact with the patients. Often times, a new volunteer will bring a picture of their own pet on this initial visit and introduce the residents and patients to their pet.