Therapy dogs provide unconditional love and acceptance. They do not care that your hair is gone from chemotherapy, that a stroke has left you confused and speechless or that you have a physical or mental disability. With the facilitation of their human handlers, they create a unique bond with patients and visitors that has a very real healing dimension..."
-Pam Hardin, Founder of Paws On A Mission
Get Involved with Paws On A Mission pet therapy:
- Become a Paws On A Mission pet therapy program volunteer.
Pet Therapy Services Provided
Weekly visits to patients at Mission Hospital are provided by trained pet therapy volunteer teams upon physician orders and patient consents, following the guidelines of the Therapy Dog program policy. Other service areas include schools, universities, at-risk youth facilities, hospital hospitality house and more.
Paws On A Mission has provided pet therapy services since 1999. The program touches lives in the community thorugh the healing power of pets by:
- Spreading smiles, comfort and love to hospital patients of all ages.
- Helping children and youth in schools and community agencies to reach their full potential.
- Lending a helping paw to anyone experiencing loneliness, isolation or other emotional issues in a variety of settings.
Benefits of Pet Therapy
Pet therapy is an evidence based complementary modality offered to aid in reducing feeling of stress and anxiety. Studies have shown the presence of pets has a positive effect on human physiology, decreasing blood pressure and reducing heart rate.
Some of the benefits of pet therapy include:
- To improve the individuals overall psychosocial well-being and to diminish the stress and anxiety caused by illness or injury.
- To reduce the traumatic effects of hospitalization and make ti a more positive experience.
- To provide the opportunity for sensory stimuation through touch.
- To act as a means to open communication with withdrawn, isolated or unresponsive individuals.
- To promote a noon-threatening environment.
- to enhance participation in occupational and physical therapy.
- To improve reading skills, develop compassion for animals and build self confidence and self esteem in school children and other at-risk adolescent populations.
Contact the Mission Hospital Pet Therapy Program - "Paws On A Mission"
If you have questions or would like additional information please call our Pet Therapy Coordinators at 828-213-0131.