Animal Assisted Therapy
Phoenix Children's Hospital's provides an Animal-Assisted Therapy Program to patients and their families for therapeutic purposes.
Scientific research has shown that a patient's interaction with an animal can provide positive physical and emotional benefits. It can reduce stress levels and invoke a sense of well-being.
Animal-assisted therapy acts as a catalyst to motivate patients to help themselves. A child will happily take a dog for a walk, or throw the animal a ball, forgetting the pain for a little while and moving closer to going home.
Among the specific benefits of animal-assisted therapy are the ways it motivates children to:
- Get up, move, walk, leave their room and play.
- Participate in therapy (physical, occupational and speech.)
- Forget their discomfort or pain.
- Interact more with others.
- Improve their mood.
- Improve their interactions with family and staff.
- Do things that may be a struggle, such as eating, taking medication or waiting.
Our volunteer therapy animals and owners are trained and nationally-certified. Group events and individual bedside visits are requested by the patient's doctors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists or child life specialists. The program coordinator creates a session with the patient and the team that works toward the patient's treatment goals.
For more information about animal-assisted therapy for your stay at the Hospital, please e-mail the program coordinator, Mary Lou Jennings, or call 602-933-2136. For information on how to become involved in the program, check out our Animal Assisted Therapy Volunteer FAQ.
Dine With Your Dog, presented by PetSmart, is an annual celebration of support for Animal Assisted Therapy at Phoenix Children's Hospital with a Champagne Sunday Brunch. Guests mingle with fellow animal lovers, explore the pet play areas, enjoy a fabulous silent auction and a lovely brunch spread. Visit DineWithYourDog.org to find out more, view photos and register!
Your Donations Count!
The Animal Assisted Therapy Program at Phoenix Children's Hospital is completely funded by the proceeds from special events and donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. If you would like to support the Program, there are two ways to donate:
Please send your tax deductible check to:
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation
Attn: Animal Assisted Therapy Program
2929 E. Camelback Road, Suite 122
Phoenix, AZ 85016
- or -
Visit our online donation page.
Thank you for your support!