Stitches is a caregiver who just happens to be a mixed-breed rescue dog. Her big heart and happy ways cheer even those patients dealing with greatest physical and emotional difficulties.
Banner Health realizes that sometimes tail wagging is the best medicine and offers pet therapy programs in its Arizona and Colorado hospitals.
- Dogs can reach people who are depressed or feel lonely. They have helped pediatric patients take a walk when no one else can, including parents.
- In existence since 1990, Banner Health's Pet Therapy program is the longest-running hospital-based pet therapy program in Arizona.
- More than 70 dogs are involved in our pet therapy program.
- Dogs come in all sizes and breeds, from Golden Labradors to Chihuahuas.
- Our dogs have wonderful temperaments, are obedient, have the ability to learn and are well groomed. They readily accept strangers and sit still amidst distractions.
- Our dogs also go through six-to-12 months of extensive training and are certified by the state.
This is a completely volunteer effort. A corps of volunteers either serve as the pets' "managers" or coordinate their schedules.
A $100 donation could buy six months worth of dog treats or pay for photos of dogs and patients to be given to patients.