Pet therapy is recognized at hospitals around the country as a great way to help children cope with the stress and anxiety that hospitalization may bring. CHKD is proud of its Buddy Brigade, which brings patients in contact with some amazing dogs who help the healing process.
Sometimes, the quiet comfort provided by a furry friend can calm nerves and distract a child from medical treatments, and the health benefits may be measured in lowered blood pressure and improved recovery times. At the very least, a visit from a loving dog can make an unfamiliar place feel a little more familiar.
The Buddy Brigade, with a roster of retrievers, poodles, shelties and shepherds, among others, visits patients at bedside on designated days with their handlers. All of the dogs have been certified by either Therapy Dog Inc., Therapy Dog International or the Delta Society, and have been thoroughly trained and evaluated to work with children. All go through a rigorous behavioral and physical screening process.
Each patient’s health status must be reviewed before a pet therapy visit to determine eligibility.
If you think your child would enjoy a visit by a member of the Buddy Brigade, contact your child’s bedside nurse or a Child Life staff member.
The Buddy Brigade is CHKD’s special team of “pet therapists,” lovable and well-mannered dogs who provide emotional and motivational support – and doggone fun visits – to hospitalized children.
For more information about CHKD’s pet therapy program, or to volunteer, call the volunteer department, at (757) 668-7195. You can also adopt a buddy.