MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - If you have a dog, you know there's nothing better than coming home to them. They are always happy to see you.
The children at USA's Women and Children's Hospital don't get that opportunity, however, and that's where you come in. It's called pet therapy and the program allows specially trained dogs visit pediatric patients and brighten their day.
"It gives them just a little bit of … a way to kind of forget about themselves for a bit. Especially if they love animals. And so many of these children have left their pets at home and they don't get to see them for the time being," said Pet Therapy Coordinator Sharrie Dickinson.
Right now, the hospital is looking for more dogs and pet owners to participate.
The number of hospitalized children is increasing, so the visits now take place every Tuesday and Thursday instead of one day a week.
You can volunteer one day a month or more if you're able to. There are some requirements:
Dogs and their handlers must be screened by the hospital. The dogs must have successfully completed obedience training and the requirements of Pet Partners Inc., formerly Delta Society, must be met.
Interested participants should visit Pet Partners' Web site, www.petpartners.org .
For more information about volunteering at USA Children's & Women's Hospital, visit www.usahealthsystem.com/usacwh and click on Volunteering, or call 415-1123.
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