POOCH Volunteers

Requirements to get started for the POOCH (Pets Offering Ongoing Care and Healing) program


POOCH dog teams are utilized house-wide for human-animal interactions. The physical and psychological benefits associated with animals have been researched in health care literature. Animals can offer patients, families and staff unconditional love and acceptance unlike anything they might experience within human relationships.  Dogs must be owned by the volunteer who be will working with the dog at the hospital.

Below are the requirements to get started in our POOCH program:

  • Pet Partners Registration - All prospective POOCH dogs must be registered through Pet Partners, formerly called Delta Society, prior to being accepted as a POOCH volunteer at Cedars-Sinai.  Click here for Pet Partners registration information.
  • Adult Volunteer Application –  Click here for the Adult Volunteer Application, required for all new volunteers.

Getting Started in the Volunteer Program – Requirements to get started as a volunteer include:

  • Volunteer Interview and acceptance into the program.  Volunteer dog teams must be acceptable to the POOCH Volunteer Coordinator prior to screening with the veterinarian.
  • Four hour Volunteer General Orientation
  • Volunteer Job Specific Training
  • Health Clearance Requirement for the dog owner
  • Dog Test Requirements – Dogs must pass veterinary medical and behavioral screening examinations and demonstrate proficiency in basic obedience skills. Dogs must be housebroken.The participating dog volunteers must have the following updated tests.
    • Distemper
    • Hepatitis
    • Leptospirosis
    • Parainfluenza
    • Parvo
    • Rabies
    • Fecal sample through Cedars-Sinai, given every six months

Our POOCH teams must demonstrate appropriate and sensitive interaction with patients, and be capable of accommodating to individual needs. This proficiency will be determined by the POOCH Volunteer Coordinator.  Additionally, our Volunteers must maintain a regular schedule of visitations. For any questions, please contact us directly at Volunteer Services (310) 423-8044.