Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Acute Care Hospital Setting

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Featured by JACHO in 2005 as a “Best Practice”

Established the standard for the 2008 Illinois Department of Public Health Guidelines regarding AAT in hospital settings

Featured in Modern Healthcare Magazine, WGN News, ABC news, and Advanced Nursing Practice Magazine

Client Hospital Achievements:

Increased patient satisfaction scores 20-40%

Raised over $300,000 in charitable donations

Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. specializes in the development and operations of hospital-based animal-assisted therapy (AAT) programs.  Our approach and philosophy is unique and is recognized as a Joint Commission “Best Practice”.  The Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. program will set your institution apart from the competitors.  Benefits for the hospital include:

¨      Increased patient satisfaction  Press Ganey

¨      Patient loyalty

¨      Staff satisfaction

¨      Staff retention

¨      Free marketing

¨      Improved community image

¨      Increased philanthropic opportunities

Our package provides the internal foundation necessary for success.   We furnish a complete step-by-step approach with policies and procedures addressing risk management, infection control, and change management issues.   We lead the recruitment, selection, screening, and training of your volunteer dog/handler teams to ensure an unprecedented level of excellence.


Paws 4 Therapy, Inc. is experienced in the planning and implementation of  AAT programs in the acute care setting.  Implementation of high quality, the hospital-based program is multi-faceted.  Key success factors include:

  • Upper-level administrative support
  • Medical staff acceptance
  • Policies and procedures for infection control
  • Visiting guidelines
  • Recruitment, screening, and training of dog/handler teams
  • Nurse education
  • Documentation and data collection 
  • Fund-raising