Any animal lover will agree that pets have the power to make bad days better. Those small paws and furry cuddles brighten up even the darkest days. So what better way to help hospital patients heal than by giving them a chance to spend time with their pets?
The healing power of pets
Donna Jenkins was watching over her nephew, who was staying at the hospital because of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was on his death bed when he had one final request: to see his pet one last time. Her nephew’s death showed Jenkins the healing power of pets. She thought about other patients who would have loved to have their pets with them too.
She organized a program called Zachary’s Paws for Healing that allows pets to see their humans who are confined at Juarvinski’s Hospital. She gathered volunteers, infection control workers, and medical staff to join her program. It was met with positive responses from animal lovers.
Removing threats, creating possibilities
Therapy dogs are allowed inside the hospital, but personal pets aren’t to prevent the risk of transmitting infection. It’s understandable why the hospital sees personal pets as a threat. Jenkins’ solution to the problem is to clean them and have them transferred to covered cages before entering the hospital.
When patients are reunited with their pets, there’s a reduction in their stress levels. Their best friend’s presence provides a cure for their depression and stabilizes their heart health. More hospitals have become aware of these benefits. They’ve tapped Jenkins’ team to facilitate pet visitations.
The United States is abundant with programs like Jenkins’. In Canada, however, Zachary’s Paws for Healing is the first of it’s kind. The numbers are expected to increase in the years to come since doctors have seen a huge improvement in their patients’ health. Watch the full story below:
Credits to CTV News