Deborah L. Erickson, MBA, Ph.D. - Integrating Body, Mind, and Spirit
Animal Volunteer Work

For eight years I volunteered at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA in the Providence Animal-Assisted Activities & Therapy Program (PAAAT), sharing the healing properties of animal's companionship and love with patients, staff, and visitors. 

I also volunteered with the No One Dies Alone Program (NODA) thru the Hospital's Mission/Spiritual Care Department.  The purpose of the program is to offer a compassionate companion's reassuring presence at the bedside of a dying patient who would otherwise be alone. 

Currently I volunteer with Fences for Fido, a phenomenal non-profit all-volunteer organization that works to "unchain" dogs in their backyards in the Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington areas by simply building fences.  

The Fences for Fido website explains the transformation:  

"When a dog is unchained, a transformation begins. It starts with what we call “zoomies:” The running, jumping, exuberant joy our Fidos display once unchained – many for the first time in years. That visible happiness puts smiles on the faces of our volunteers and most importantly, on the faces of our client families who through this process begin to connect with their pets in a more meaningful way.

This single moment represents the beginning of an even deeper bond between a dog and his or her family. Since we built our first Fences in 2009, we’ve witnessed more than 1300 “zoomies!” We’ve expanded to cover Southwest Washington and most areas throughout Oregon, answering the call and building eight to ten fences per month in every kind of weather.

Additionally, we’ve inspired change on a larger scale: In 2014, Fences For Fido was instrumental in the historic passage of Oregon’s first anti-tethering law, which restricts the amount of time a dog can be chained.

To accelerate the unchaining movement, we actively support and mentor new unchaining groups all over the country. We’re fully committed to this next step in our mission, and have created the Unchained Planet initiative to further this cause.

If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, love animals, and are grateful for the devotion of the companion animals in your life, please consider volunteering with this organization. It's a wonderful group of people who are doing fantastic work.  Your commitment level is entirely up to you, check out the website to view upcoming fence building events.  Volunteer and enrich your life!