Pet Policy

It is the policy of Laurelbrook Nursing Home to provide healthy pets for the residents to enjoy. The companionship and spontaneity that these animals provide is an important therapy that helps to eliminate the three plagues affecting long­term residents: loneliness, boredom, and helplessness.

Pre­admittance requirements:

All pets will be evaluated prior to bringing them into the facility. The following requirements must be met:
  1. Cats and dogs must be neutered or spayed.
  2. Cats must not be solid black or long haired, be female, and will be declawed.
  3. Cats and dogs will be evaluated by a veterinarian and all recommended vaccinations will be done.
  4. Birds will be purchased from a reputable dealer and placed in quarantine for 30 days minimum before allowing bird/resident contact. During this period they will be observed for symptoms of illness such as decreased appetite, shivering, breathing heavily, listlessness, change in the color of droppings and ruffled feathers. If any occur, a veterinarian will be notified immediately.

Care of pets in the facility

Proper hygiene and sanitation in the care of animals must be consistently implemented to keep them healthy and prevent disease. Therefore the facility will provide the following:
Daily care
  1. Feeding: All pets will be provided with fresh food and water every day. (See Pet Care Procedure for details)
  2. Pets will be checked for illness.
  3. Toileting: Dogs will be taken outdoors on a routine schedule. Cats will have dirty kitty litter scooped. (See Pet Care Procedure for details)
  4. Outdoor exercise will be provided daily to dogs as weather permits.
Weekly Care
  1. Litter boxes for cats will be kept clean and in good repair with weekly cleaning. They will be replaced when no longer odor­free and/or damaged.
  2. Dogs will be given baths as necessary to prevent odors.
Individuals will be assigned to feed and care for the pets. If residents participate, they must be supervised.
Pets will be trained to stay out of the dining room and kitchen areas, counters in nurses’ station, basement, and rooms of residents who do not wish them by the use of squirt guns and other discipline that may prove effective.
Residents who on admission have had a companion dog or cat pet at their previous residence and desire to continue that companionship may do so if all regular pre­admission requirements are met, the resident resides in a private room, and the responsible party will accept the cost of the maintenance–food, vetting, supplies, and any special care as well as responsibility for any destructive behavior towards the facility’s property.
Care of personal pets will be assigned to staff in the same manner as institutional pets. The resident owner may assist with the care under supervision. The facility will assume no liability in case of illness, injury or death of the pet. A written agreement covering the above will be signed by the responsible party before bringing the pet into the facility.
Pets, both personal and facility, which are not able to adapt to the environment (barking, soiling, aggressive or destructive behavior, etc.) despite screening will be removed from the facility. The facility administrator reserves the right to determine when animal behavior is inappropriate and interfering with the smooth functioning of the facility.
Personal pets will be returned to the responsible party of the resident owner. Facility pets will have placement attempted, and if not successful will be taken to the pound.