BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Children’s Hospital is celebrating the expansion of their pet therapy program.

Thanks to a grant from PetSmart Charities for $360,300, the hospital will double the number of therapy dogs from 17 to 34.

Therapy dog Molly visits a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital. (WBZ-TV)

Since 2003, therapy dogs have made more than 12,000 patient visits at the hospital.

Through the Pawprints program, four-legged friends make a huge difference for pediatric patients and their families, providing unconditional love during a tough time.

Therapy dogs like Sophie help Boston Children’s Hospital patients. (WBZ-TV)

Patient Julie Milunski, who has been in and out of the hospital her whole life, said she knows firsthand the impact the dogs can make on their stay.

“I really feel that they decrease pain, and definitely decrease anxiety,” said Milunski. “Sometimes the hospital can be a really scary place … having the dogs there just to kind of ease that transition and bring a bit of normalcy to the hospital stay is really nice.”

Starting in 2019, there will be enough therapy dogs to visit Boston Children’s Hospital satellite locations in Peabody, Waltham, and the Martha Elliot Health Center.

  1. Whether horses, dogs, pigs or goats are used, smart folks are discovering the benefits of animal therapy. Partly because of this healing affect, farmstay get-a-ways are growing in popularity. Not just for the immediate boost that comes from escaping the city and encouraging your loved ones to unplug, but also for the therapeutic affect farm animal interaction provides. This experience offers an unusual alternative to what everyone else is doing! Places like Morning Song Farm offer plenty to do in the middle of Southern California’s wine country playground, and lots of healthy organic fruit and vegetables to enjoy. See:

Leave a Reply