PetSmart

On July 29, 2014, PetSmart generously donated $250,000 to Rady Children’s Hospital’s Canine Therapy program!

PetSmart may be known as our dogs’ favorite place to shop, but they also provide hope and healing for the patients at Rady Children’s Hospital. In a nationwide effort to bring hope and healing to hospitalized children, they have created the PetSmart Paws for Hope Program. Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is the second beneficiary of their generous support. On July 29, 2014, PetSmart generously donated $250,000 to Rady Children’s Hospital’s Canine Therapy program! As a result, the program has been renamed to PetSmart Paws for Hope at Rady Children’s. This gift will enable the Rady Children’s Volunteer Services department to further enhance the Canine Therapy program.

The current program includes 28 volunteer dogs and their handlers who are on campus five days per week, making more than 12,000 bedside visits annually! Our Canine Therapy program provides hospitalized children and their families a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine and an opportunity for social interaction, which are integral components to the healing processes. Pet therapy animals also significantly help our young patients with rehabilitation and provide the unconditional love that only an animal can give. This program is rewarding not only for our patients and dogs, but for their owners who find much satisfaction in seeing their pets comfort and encourage our patients and their families.

In partnership with the Paws for Hope program, Rady Children’s is now able to visit additional patients in the hospital by participating in spiritual care and bereavement services and support programs, family-to-family support gatherings, hospital employee wellness programs, and bedside visits to patients in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS), Helen Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children, and the eating disorders unit.

We thank PetSmart for helping us to bring hope and healing to the patients in our care.