For many patients, shaking a furry paw or stroking a floppy ear can be the best medicine. That’s why a volunteer program in pet-assisted therapy (otherwise known as "PAT") brings patients and pets together.
Dogs have been a presence at Huntington Memorial Hospital since 1984. In 1987, the program was expanded to over 20 teams of volunteers working with their own dogs.
Because the animals are interactive, they provide relief from long days or even weeks in the hospital. They help patients to shift focus from discomfort to pleasure. Petting the dogs provides sensory stimulation and a bit of exercise. The animals’ unconditional love and attention help to forge fast, easy bonds with new friends. The dogs brighten the day for just about everyone; patients, visitors and staff alike.
Specially trained volunteers and dogs are available to visit patients in all units (except maternity and emergency). With physician approval, patients can request a PAT visit throughout the hospital, seven days a week.
For more information, please call: (626) 397-5208.