Pet therapy is a volunteer service that puts countless smiles on the faces of our patients and families. Our pet therapy program consists of dozens of dogs who visit the Tidwell Procedure Center, Clinics, Cancer Clinic, Outpatient Infusion Center and the Emergency Department. Each dog is escorted throughout the hospital by its handler (owner) and plays an important role in the treatment of our patients.
The goals of this program are to:
- Minimize the stress and anxiety of hospitalization and illness.
- Provide warmth, comfort and sense of familiarity.
- Offer play and “normal-life” experiences.
- Provide a distraction from pain, medical treatments and daily routines of hospital.
- Encourage patients to complete treatment goals like walking.
- Encourage conversation, interaction and communication.
- Bring smiles.
Become a part of our wonderful volunteer team
Pet therapy teams must be registered with Pet Partners prior to applying for the CHOC Pet Therapy Program. This national organization will register the team once they have passed an obedience test. If a pet handler is interested in joining the CHOC Pet Therapy Program, a team application must be submitted, followed by an interview conducted with the volunteer services department. Upon acceptance into the CHOC program, the pet owner must complete all of the necessary volunteer requirements, such as orientation classes and passing a medical test and background check.
Dogs must be at least 1 year old and handlers must have the ability to take leadership roles. CHOC is looking for teams to be outgoing and friendly, have some experience working with children and have a professional presentation.
For more information on Pet Partners, please visit its website at www.petpartners.org.