Pets for Life, Inc.
7240 Wornall Road
Kansas City MO 64114
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 363-3665
Mission Statement
The purpose of Pets for Life, Inc. is to enhance the care and treatment of people in local hospitals, nursing homes, shelters for victims of domestic violence, mental health programs, treatment centers for youth and corrections facilities through the use of certified therapy teams of pets and volunteers.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Board Chair is Executive Director
Board Chair Mrs. Donna J. Amato
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1984
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement The purpose of Pets for Life, Inc. is to enhance the care and treatment of people in local hospitals, nursing homes, shelters for victims of domestic violence, mental health programs, treatment centers for youth and corrections facilities through the use of certified therapy teams of pets and volunteers.
Background Statement
In 1984, after learning of the value of animal assisted therapy through a television news documentary, Mr. and Mrs. William D. Snyder founded Pets for Life in order to offer this valuable service to those often forgotten in Kansas City's area institutions. The pet must have all current vaccinations and health checks performed; then, the pet is evaluated for obedience and social skills via a Volunteer Team Evaluation. After the pet passes the VTE it is certified as a "therapy pet". The volunteer is expected to read the volunteer manual and complete a self-test. When both pet and person have completed all tests, the first visit is scheduled with the Program Director. Every attempt is made to match the volunteer with the best location and the population group most appealing to the volunteer.
 
We have three part time employees, our Program Director, who has extensive knowledge and experience with pet assisted therapy/activities, as well as with training of dogs. She is responsible for testing and training our volunteers and making sure that everything goes smoothly on visits. She handles Pre-Tests and administers the Volunteer Team Evaluation to prospective volunteer/pet teams. We also have additional dog trainers/behaviorists, that assist with the training and testing of the volunteer/pet teams, who are contract employees.Additionally we have two part-time Volunteer Coordinators. Everyone else that keeps Pets for Life running smoothly is a volunteer. There are 255 volunteers making visits with their pets to facilities in the greater Kansas City Metro area. We have never charged for our services and receive no government funding of any kind.
Impact Statement
The benefits of our pet/volunteer visits to people in the community include the increased emotional/sociological well being of these individuals, as well as positive physiological changes. In the past few years, clinical research has verified that individual pet visits have a very positive physical as well as psychological benefit; anxiety is lessened measurably, blood pressure is lowered, and the risk of heart attack is reduced. Pet assisted therapy/activity is now looked upon as a measurable, medical adjunct to a person's quality of life. 
  • In 2016, we added 43 volunteer/pet teams and an additional 12 facilities served. We now have 255 volunteers and 147 facilities that we serve on regularly scheduled visits. 
  • Our volunteer/pet teams made 133,208 client contacts in 2016. This information is sent to us from the facilities we serve or from our volunteers.
We continue to increase our services to children. Through the Leash Pals Program children learn the safe way to greet a dog, when not to approach a dog, and what to do when a stray dog approaches. We have found that this course can be modified for other age groups, as well. We are now presenting this course to many more individuals of differing ages, than we had originally imagined.
 
Our goal is to increase our volunteer base to be able to serve more individuals and facilities in our community.
Needs Statement Pets for Life always has a waiting list. We need funding for our Volunteer Recruitment Project, to increase our volunteer base to serve more individuals still in need of our services. With increased growth comes increased expenses e.g. additional staffing and increased general operating expenses. We need increased funding to support this growth.
Service Categories
Children's and Youth Services
Health Support
Animal-Related NEC
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
As healthcare professionals become more aware of the benefits of animal assisted therapy, requests for our services continue to grow. We now visit many diverse populations of institutionalized individuals. They live in assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, residential treatment centers for children, and many hospices. 
 
Additionally, our R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program helps children become more proficient readers. R.E.A.D. teams work in schools and libraries with children who have reading deficiencies. The kids in the program experience phenomenal growth in reading and communication skills, as well as self confidence.
 
The trends and issues emerging are that increasingly, clinical research continues to verify that beyond doubt, individual pet visits have a very positive physical, and psychological benefit. Recent research has used scientific measurements to document that therapeutic dogs lower anxiety, stress, and heart and lung pressure among heart failure patients. This study is thought to be especially impressive because of the hard data it provided and because it helps show that pet therapy is a credible addition to patient care.  I personally go on visits with my dogs several times a month. This gives me an excellent opportunity to see firsthand how we are received, and what we may need to improve.
 
I would like to share with you a few examples of how what we do helps those less fortunate.
 
"While visiting Brookdale Overland Park Glenwood, FRANCES (Black Lab) and I visited a lady named Myrna who really enjoyed seeing FRANCES. Her smile widened as soon as we came into the room. Myrna bent over and rubbed FRANCES' ears and whispered to her how beautiful she was and what a good dog she was. FRANCES loved all the special attention Myrna gave her. After the visit the activity person told me she had not heard Myrna speak in over a year!!! My eyes filled with tears and my heart melted, as I really felt FRANCES and I were making a difference with our visits."
 
"ELPHIE (English Springer Spaniel) and I go to Aberdeen Village Assisted Living each week. Last week one of our regulars was missing. As we finished our visit, staff asked if we might go to healthcare, as the woman had been moved there, and was very despondent about not being able to see ELPHIE. She had not been eating and was very sad. When she saw ELPHIE she was emotional and said she didn't think she would ever see her again! I told her she needed to start eating better and taking care of herself and ELPHIE would come to see her. She was so happy to see ELPHIE, I felt we had made a very positive effect There is nothing like the 'power of paws' to make lives better."
Programs
Description Volunteers bring their certified therapy pets to individuals confined to local healthcare facilities, and other types of facilities where people are institutionalized for the purposes of providing comfort and companionship, as well as to assist with the patient's care plan as we are able.  Our volunteers observe many therapeutic benefits during our visits. Depressed patients become more expressive and talkative. We see the softer side of patients who have difficulty expressing their feelings constructively. Troubled children participate cooperatively, taking their turns to play with the pets. Withdrawn patients come on their own to join the activity. Head injury patients open their eyes to focus on the pets. Alzheimer's patients calm down, speak more clearly in coherent sentences. Kids with a history of violence learn to treat animals and people with respect.
Program Budget $52,000.00
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Animal-Assisted Therapy
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Children Only (5 - 14 years), Adults
Short-Term Success Head injury patients open their eyes to focus on the animals. Children in intensive care with terminal brain tumors find something to smile about. Injured or arthritic hands reach out beyond their usual range of motion to pet the animals. One physical rehabilitation patient who had just spent an hour in therapy with her chest on her knees, refusing to look up, was wheeled into the Activity Room where a Black Labrador mix was playing with other patients. She sat straight up and threw the ball overhand, reaching over her head, so the dog could fetch it.
Long-Term Success Agitated clients become calmer, more sociable. Withdrawn clients who do not participate in other activities come out of their rooms to join the group. Quiet, non-verbal clients speak, and carry on a conversation. Confused and disoriented clients find a focus. Alzheimer's clients who speak unintelligibly start using coherent sentences. Over excited kids learn to take turns and follow directions. Kids with a history of violence learn to treat the animals and volunteers with respect. Clients who whine and complain constantly find something positive to say. Nursing home residents who have lost their communication skills and vent their frustrations by moaning and screaming constantly (known as Screamers) find a calm, quiet voice to respond to the animal's approach.
Program Success Monitored By After every visit at every facility we visit the staff completes a "Visit Data Form" which is then faxed to the Pets for Life office. On this form the staff records the details of the pet assisted therapy visit, as well as any results achieved. If this form is not received we follow-up with the facility, as it is necessary for us to be able to document the number of client contacts and as much detail about how our visits are being received as possible. We do this so we are able to respond to requests, problems, suggestions etc. as well as document results of what we do.
Examples of Program Success As more research is done which document the benefits of pet assisted therapy activities, and as word spreads of the therapeutic healing power of these visits, we receive more and more calls asking us to bring our therapy animals to additional facilities. At the present time we have a waiting list of 64 local facilities which continues to grow. We are simply not able to keep up with the demand for our services.
Description
The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) Program improves children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals certified through Pets for Life who receive additional training and certification for this program. The volunteer teams go to schools and libraries as reading companions for children. When a R.E.A.D. dog is listening, the environment is transformed, a child's dread is replaced by eager anticipation, and learning occurs. Participating kids make enormous strides in reading and communication skills while building self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Performance in other subjects tends to improve, as does attendance and even personal hygiene.

Reach Out and Read -- Our volunteers and their dogs visit the Cabot Westside Clinic twice a month and interact with children in the waiting room. The children listen or read to the dogs as they await their turn to visit the medical staff.
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short-Term Success Dogs are great listeners. And their presence creates an inviting and motivating environment for students which is relaxed, comfortable, safe, nonjudgmental and fun. The students learn to enjoy reading and to exhibit a curiosity for different books, and gain self confidence in not only their reading ability, but their ability to interact with others in positive ways.
Long-Term Success Participating children make enormous strides in reading and communication skills, while also building self-esteem, confidence and social skills. And there are bonus benefits; performance in other subjects tends to improve, as does attendance and even personal hygiene.
Program Success Monitored By There are reading goals set by the teachers in the program, which are continually monitored. Additionally, the teachers are given "R.E.A.D. Program Service Evaluation" forms to complete at the end of the program. We solicit feedback as to their satisfaction with the results, and as to what benefits they felt were being provided to their students, as well as their suggestions for improvements to the program.
Examples of Program Success Learning to read is often less about intellectual limitation than about overcoming fears. Animals are ideal reading companions because they: help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure, listen attentively, do not judge, laugh or criticize, allow children to proceed at their own pace, and are less intimidating than peers. When a R.E.A.D. dog is listening, the environment is transformed, a child's dread is replaced by eager anticipation, and learning occurs. The handler is a skilled facilitator, shifting performance pressure off the child and providing support, while the child gets the supervised reading practice necessary to build vocabulary, increase understanding of the material, and gain fluency as a reader.
Description
The Leash Pals Program is a course designed to educate children about a dog's body language in an attempt to keep them safe. Every year over 800,000 dog bites are reported in the United States. Fifty percent of those bitten are children under thirteen. There are a variety of situations that can result in a dog biting. In many cases human behavior plays a large part.
 
Learning to understand what behaviors we exhibit that can lead to aggression, and learning the warning signs the dogs give us can go a long way in avoiding a bad situation. Through the Leash Pals Program children learn the safe way to greet a dog, when not to approach a dog, what to do when an unfamiliar dog approaches and hands-on interactions appropriate for each child's comfort level.
Category Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other Safety Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short-Term Success
Our short-term success will be measured by our ability to educate children about canine communication through a dog's body language.
Long-Term Success
The ultimate goal is that children will be safe in their interaction with dogs
Program Success Monitored By
The program is monitored by the President and board members, who are active participants.
Examples of Program Success

Observations have been a positive change in attitudes and behaviors of participants from the time they entered the program until its completion. Many who were initially fearful had a changed demeanor after having a chance to interact with the therapy dogs and practice the proper way to approach a dog.

CEO Comments
The clients we serve are institutionalized, and as a result, their quality of life is largely out of their own control. Our pet visits improve their quality of life by bringing love, warmth and caring right to their bedside or chair. For many, it is the only time they smile that week, and for some, it is the only time they speak at all, TO THE DOG. We bring these people one of the comforts of home, a comfort they could not otherwise enjoy in their environment. It is not uncommon to talk with clients in institutions who had to leave a cherished pet from their home. In the last few years we have expanded the places we serve to include more facilities for children.We visit facilities that house children with anger management problems, many of whom have been abused, as well as in hospitals and facilities for the mentally impaired/developmentally delayed. They are all "special needs" children who desperately need mentoring and nurturing from our human volunteers as well as the nonjudgmental unconditional acceptance and love of our pet volunteers. 
 
Several factors contribute to the ongoing need for additional volunteers. A dog is able to work as a therapy dog for 5-6 years and all the animals in the program are retested every two years. Although there is no mandatory retirement age, as dogs get older and develop health issues or personality changes, they are retired. Other teams can no longer participate because of the death of their pets. Last year 13 of our active therapy dogs and a therapy rabbit died. An additional six dogs retired due to age and infirmities.
 
Other factrors contribute to the need for additional volunteers. Some people retire due to their own health issues. Others move away. There are volunteers who can no longer participate in Pets for Life because they have experienced changes in their work or home schedules.
 
Because there are more organizations asking for animal assisted therapy than we can serve and because of the always-changing factors in the lives of our volunteers and their pets, Pets for Life is constantly recruiting new volunteers. To both recruit and retain volunteers involves costs to screen, train, and certify new teams and nurture existing volunteers.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Board Chair is Executive Director
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Volunteers 255
Paid Contractors 3
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan No
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Collaborations
Pets for Life, Inc. is affiliated with the Reading Education Assistance Dogs Program (R.E.A.D.), a national nonprofit out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
 
Pets for Life, Inc. is affiliated with Reach Out and Read - Kansas City which is part of a national nonprofit organization.
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments The Board of Directors is actively engaged in the operations of Pets for Life: not only do many of the Board members volunteer with their own pets, they are expected to be acquainted with the the goals, by-laws, and policies of the organization and attend four board meetings a year. They are expected to be active participants in the dialogue, decisions and feedback necessary to sustain an effective organization and preserve the dynamics of Pets for Life. Board members should also be willing to promote Pets for Life and its causes through networking etc. and be alert to possible leads for funding sources/donors and facilitate follow through when appropriate. They are also expected to serve on a committee which would benefit from their background and experience. Board members are also expected to contribute financially so we are able to maintain our 100% board participation in fundraising.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Donna J. Amato
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2018
Email donnaj2217@yahoo.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mrs. Donna J. Amato Community Volunteer
Mr. Steve Barrett MT-BCMarillac
Mrs. Kelli Cooper Attorney at Law
Ms. Cindy Cowherd Reece Nichols
Mrs. Janet Dubrava Community Volunteer
Mrs. Karen Fitzgerald
Dr. Hires W. Gage DVMFairway Animal Hospital
Mrs. Pam Graves Community Volunteer
Dr. Daniel E. Hecker DVMCommunity volunteer
Dr. Julie D. Krogh DVMBanfield Pet Hospital
Mrs. Martha D. Letourneau Community Volunteer
Mr. John McGee Commerce Bank
Ms. Joni Roeseler
Mrs. Judy Thomasson Community Volunteer
Mrs. Sharon Rush Williams Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 60%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 10%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Nominating
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mrs. Mary D. Buford
Ms. Wendy Burcham Community Volunteer
Mrs. Ellen Hockaday Community Volunteer
Dr. Kent DVM Kraus Tomahawk Animal Clinic
Mr. Albert Mauro Community Volunteer
Ms. Susan Phillips Community volunteer
Ms. Mary Shaw Branton Community Volunteer
CEO Comments The Board of Directors is actively engaged in the operations of Pets for Life: not only do many of the Board members volunteer with their own pets, they are expected to be acquainted with the the goals, by-laws, and policies of the organization and attend board meetings. They are expected to be active participants in the dialogue, decisions and feedback necessary to sustain an effective organization and preserve the dynamics of Pets for Life. Board members should also be willing to promote Pets for Life and its causes through networking etc. and be alert to possible leads for funding sources/donors and facilitate follow through when appropriate. They are also expected to serve on a committee which would benefit from their background and experience. Board members are also expected to contribute financially so we are able to maintain our 100% board participation in fundraising.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $75,000
Projected Expenses $75,000
Endowment Value $509,325
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage 0
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990 EZ.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item includes contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$45,004$47,928$15,334
Administration Expense$21,495$19,222$58,389
Fundraising Expense$6,209$4,014$0
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.311.362.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses62%67%21%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%5%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$551,870$541,194$499,389
Current Assets$72,801$57,584$497,056
Long-Term Liabilities$87$82$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$78
Total Net Assets$551,783$541,112$499,311
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----6372.51
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
 Our main financial need is for general operating expense and for our ongoing Volunteer Recruitment Project so we will be able to replace those veteran volunteers we lose due to a pet's death or infirmity, people moving out of the area, or a change in their life/schedule etc. We also need to continue to increase our volunteer base to enable us to serve more individuals and facilities that remain on our waiting list. 
 
Our program is very popular. We do not have the need to market to anyone. Facilities continually call to request our services. We have never charged for our services to the community.
Organization Name Pets for Life, Inc.
Address 7240 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64114
Primary Phone (816) 363-3665
CEO/Executive Director Board Chair is Executive Director
Board Chair Mrs. Donna J. Amato
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1984