Madison, Wisconsin (WEAU) – UW Health Kids encourages dog owners to apply to the Caring Canines Program.
According to child life education expert Katie Glass, the program is designed to allow volunteers and their dogs to make bedside visits during their stay at American Family Children’s Hospital and “provide a calming influence on patients and families.” , embrace time, and a sense of normalcy,” UW Healthy Children.
“We’re excited to start this project, and we need the community’s help to get it off the ground,” Glass said. “This project will allow us to expand our efforts to help patients and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of their time in the hospital.”
According to a media release from UW Health, the program is different from the Canine Health and Medical Pals Facility Dog Program. Caring Canines replaces UW Health’s Pet Pals Therapy Program.
Volunteers at American Family Children’s Hospital must be at least 18 years old, commit to service for at least one year, and bring their dog for visits at least twice a month, according to a UW Health media release.
According to a media release from UW Health, for dogs to participate, they must be able to:
- Sit and lie down with just one command.
- Stay until you can call him or her with just one command.
- Even when excited, don’t walk with the leash loose, don’t pull.
- Be friendly with other dogs.
- Ability to execute commands without rewards.
- Do not bark or whine excessively.
- Get all vaccinations up to date, including rabies vaccine.
Participating volunteer teams will need to successfully complete a four-step application process, which includes a temperament test before being accepted into the program, according to a media release from UW Health.
For more information and to apply, visit the UW Health website here.
UW Health’s full media release is available here.
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