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Wolfson Patients Reunited With Furry Family Members

Photo courtesy of Wolfson Childrens's Hospital

Wolfson Children’s Hospital launched a dog visitation program today called “Healing Paws,” reuniting long-term patients with their beloved pets.

Under the program, a hospitalized child can pet and play with his or her dog in a private and handicapped accessible space near the hospital.

Credit Photo courtesy of Wolfson Children's Hospital.
Wolfson patient Vanessa Blond shares a moment with Ginger.

17-year-old Vanessa Blond is a patient being treated at Wolfson for cystic fibrosis. Today she had an opportunity today to be reunited with Ginger, her grandmother’s dog, who Blond considers her own.

“We know that a child’s pet is an important member of his family, and that pets can be a great comfort,” said Wolfson Children’s Hospital President Michael Aubin.

The dogs must meet certain requirements — they must be at least 12 weeks old and potty trained, and must have a certificate from a veterinarian ensuring the dog’s good health.

Previously, patients could visited by carefully trained dogs through Wolfson’s Pet Therapy Program, but this is believed to be the first program in the nation where a child’s own pet can visit. Healing Paws is an expansion of that program giving children a touch of home and emotional support.

“We are excited to establish this innovative program as a gift to the patients of Wolfson Children’s Hospital,” Aubin said.

“It is part of our complete body-mind approach to children’s health care.”