UW Health Kids encouraging dog owners to apply for Caring Canines Program

CANINE PROGRAM LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:47 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - UW Health Kids is encouraging dog owners to apply for the Caring Canines Program.

A media release from UW Health says 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, according to Katie Glass, Child Life Education Specialist, UW Health Kids.

“We are excited to launch this program and we need the community’s help to get it off the ground,” Glass said. “This Program will allow us to expand our efforts to help patients and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of their time in the hospital.”

According to the media release from UW Health, this Program is different from the Canine Health and Medical Pals Facility Dog Program. Caring Canines replaces UW Health’s Pet Pals Therapy Program.

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, according to the media release from UW Health.

According to the media release from UW Health, for dogs to participate they must be able to:

  • Sit and lie down with only one command.
  • Stay until you call him or her with only one command.
  • Walk loosely on a leash and not pull, even when excited.
  • Be friendly with other dogs.
  • Be able to perform commands without treats as a reward.
  • Not bark or whine too much.
  • Be up to date on all vaccinations, including rabies.

Participating volunteer teams will need to successfully complete a four-step application process, which includes temperament testing prior to acceptance into the Program, according to the media release from UW Health.

To learn more and apply, visit the UW Health website HERE.

The full media release from UW Health is available HERE.