American Family Children’s Hospital seeking comfort dogs

UW Health Kids is encouraging dog owners to apply for its newly launched Caring Canines program. The program is for volunteers and their dogs to make bedside visits and provide a calming influence, cuddle time, and a feeling of normalcy for patients and families during their stay at American Family Children’s Hospital.

Caring Canines replaces UW Health’s Pet Pals therapy program, which began in 1996, but ended during the pandemic.

Volunteers at American Family Children’s Hospital must be at least 18 years of age, commit to at least one year of service, and bring their dog to visit at least two times a month.

The dogs must be able to: sit and lie down with only one command; stay until called with one command; walk loosely on a leash and not pull; be friendly with other dogs; perform commands without treats; not bark or whine much; and be up to date on all vaccinations.