Pet Therapy

Pet visits brighten the stay of patients in our care. Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can lower anxiety, reduce high blood pressure and, in some cases, cause the release of endorphins — chemicals in the body that help to reduce the pain response.

Only certified teams may apply for this program. Good pet candidates are those who are proficient in basic commands or who have had obedience training prior to pursuing the certification process. Certification is available through organizations such as Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs International, Therapy ARC and others. All pets must meet immunization and grooming requirements and adhere to organizational policies to participate. Once a pet is certified, the owner/handler must go through the volunteer orientation process before participating in the pet therapy program.

For more information about becoming a volunteer or arranging a pet visit, please contact Volunteer Services at 931.380.4047.