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  • 45 people are interested

Source of Unconditional Love (SOUL) Hospice (Dog and Owner) Volunteer

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Dignity Health

  • 45 people are interested

General description:

  • Serves as a member of the hospice team in meeting the needs of patients and families in the hospice program following a Plan of Care developed through collaboration by the hospice team, patient and caregivers. Volunteers may, along with his/her dog, provide companionship and support, as well as hospital visitation to Hospice patient/families as needed, both active patients, as well as families in bereavement
  • Serves under the direction/supervision of the Hospice Volunteer Services Supervisor.


  • Completion of 8 hours of volunteer training through the Hospice Relias Volunteer Training, End-of-Life Specialist certification, or equivalent to be assessed and determined by the Dignity Health Hospice Volunteer Services Supervisor.
  • Meets all requirements of Dignity Health Employee Health screening and clearance for duty, including but not limited to initial health appraisal, vaccinations, and annual PPD testing.
  • Must have a Therapy Pet or Canine Good Citizen Certification.
  • Must provide proof of liability insurance, if visiting hospice patients Mercy Hospice will reimburse.
  • Compliance with maintaining these requirements.
  • Current California Drivers License or ID.
  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • Availability of operating motor vehicle.
  • Must commit to 100 hours of volunteer service (2 hours per week).
  • Must attend 4 Volunteer Meetings per year.
  • Current CPR certification recommended but not required.
  • The volunteer must have highly developed dog-training and handling skills. He/she must exhibit a strong bond with his/her dog, as well as an understanding of basic animal behavior.
  • Current registration with either Pet Partners (r) Therapy Animal Program, Therapy Dogs Incorporated or Canine Good Citizen Certification

Knowledge of:

  • Hospice care and philosophy
  • Principles of death and dying
  • Effective communication skills
  • Role of the volunteer in hospice program
  • Principles of grief and bereavement

Accountabilities and Job-Related Competencies:

  • Follows all Dignity Health Policies and Procedures
  • Maintains confidentiality of protected health information
  • Communicates effectively with terminally ill patients/families
  • Works as a member of the hospice team and reports urgent needs of the patient and family to the appropriate team members
  • Keeps hospice Volunteer Services Supervisor informed of patient/family status as appropriate
  • Ability to take direction from the hospice team
  • Responds appropriately to unexpected occurrences or emergencies with patients/families
  • Communicates with appropriate staff any concerns re: patient/family
  • Maintains appropriate personal boundaries in the relationship with the patient, family and hospice team
  • Maintains appropriate and timely documentation.
  • Ability to provide respectful care to patients and families with diverse backgrounds, race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and culture
  • Keeps established time commitment to the patients and notifies supervisor if unable or if time commitment changes
  • Willingness to learn about different cultures
  • Maintains all mandatory training and in service requirements.
  • Willingly accepts patient assignments and make regular visits as arranged
  • Willingness to make a one year commitment
  • Attends a minimum of 4 hospice volunteer meetings per year
  • Adheres to safety standards and practices universal precautions


  • All dogs must have current registration with either Pet Partners (r) Therapy Animal Program, Therapy Dogs Incorporated or Canine Good Citizen Certification.
  • Be one year of age or older.
  • Pass annual medical screening with their veterinarian.
  • Dogs must pass behavioral screening tests conducted by SOUL evaluator.
  • All dogs must be free of external and internal parasites.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in basic obedience.
  • All dogs must be current on all vaccinations.
  • Toenails must be trimmed and filed smooth prior to each visit.
  • All dogs must be bathed and thoroughly brushed within 24 hours of visit.
  • Receives and wears volunteer uniform (scarf and ID badge).
  • Dogs exhibiting signs of stress during visit will discontinue visit and be removed.
  • Barking or boisterous behavior will not be permitted.

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About Dignity Health


9912 Business Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95827, US

Mission Statement

We believe in living life as fully as possible and that includes living well to the end. We believe that every individual has a vast potential and that dying can offer an oppertunity to achieve that potential, or compel a person to fulfill a final wish. Mercy Hospice provides comfort, peace and solutions for individuals facing serious and life-limiting illness, giving them the dignity and compassion they deserve.


Since 1979, Mercy Hospice has been providing compassionate care to families touched by serious and life-limiting illness. Our hospice team works with patients to manage pain and symptoms while offering support to those caring for them. The goal of Mercy Hospice is to help men and women of all ages and with all types of illness spend their days in peace, comfort and dignity. We also want to help family and loved ones to understand what is happening and how best to cope with the tremendous changes that will occur.



We'll work with your schedule.


9912 Business Park Dr # 100Sacramento, CA 95827



  • Hospice Care
  • Animal Care / Handling
  • Animal Therapy




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 2 hours per week
  • Completion of Hospice Teaching Transitions Training

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