Ways to Give at Banner Desert Medical Center  

Dog Therapy — sharing smiles and affection

Patient and Dog therapist To find out more about Pet Therapy, contact Volunteer Services at (480) 412-3258.  

Animals, especially dogs, have been assisting humans since the beginning of recorded history. They have helped us work and provided us with companionship and lifted our spirits. However, it was not until the 20th century that animals were officially recognized for their therapeutic abilities.
Dog Therapy
We value each and every one of our patients and try our best to make each patient’s stay positive and comfortable. The Volunteer Resources Department works at bringing smiles to the faces of our patients with our Dog Therapy Program.
The Dog Therapy Program is a program run by Campus volunteers and their precious pooches. Their many visits to patient rooms create an environment conveying caring and value to our patients. In addition, it serves to bring humor to the bedside and enhances the opportunity to open lines of communication through canine companionship.
As a support to the healing process and a healing environment, dog therapy has been known to assist with improvement of patient’s emotional well-being.
How does dog therapy work?
All therapy dogs are at least one year in age and they and their handlers are certified through a national dog therapy organization prior to being permitted to participate in the therapy program. These specially trained volunteers visit the rooms of selected patients and offer them a few moments of canine companionship. Each certified therapy dog usually makes hospital rounds once a week for one to two hours at a time, charming patients, visitors and staff.  A special visit from any one of our adorable therapy dogs brings joy and priceless smiles to the many patients in our care.
Do therapy dogs visit all patients?
Therapy dogs are not permitted to visit patients in the following areas:

  • Food preparation/storage areas,
  • Medication storage and/or preparation areas,
  • Clean/sterile supply areas;
  • Labor & delivery;
  • Nursery,
  • Isolation rooms,
  • Rooms of patients in neutropenic precautions, recent transplant, and CAPD active patients,
  • Invasive treatment areas to include surgery, PACU, cath lab, medical imaging and endoscopy.
  • Critical Care Units at Banner Desert or Cardon Children’s.
  • Therapy dogs do not visit any patient without prior notice and patient approval.

Interested in becoming a Dog Therapy volunteer?
If you are interested in learning more about our Dog Therapy Program or volunteering at Banner Desert Medical Center or Cardon Children’s Medical Center, fill out a dog therapy volunteer application if your meets the dog therapy requirements.

Banner Desert Medical Center
1400 S. Dobson Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 412-3000
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