Call for Volunteer Pet Teams at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Do you have a dog who is at least 1 year old who can walk calmly on a leash and does not lick or jump when greeting people? Does your dog know basic commands like “sit” and “stay” and accepts the presence of other dogs? If yes, then you should consider your dog for pet therapy certification. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is always looking for pet team volunteers for its pet therapy program, a two-hour commitment every two weeks. You’ll be glad you did. There are some great reasons for doing so.

  1. You bring joy and comfort to children and their families who are going through a difficult, stressful time. Spending time petting a gentle dog is very soothing. Studies show that children release endorphins when they pet a therapy dog. This reduces the children’s stress and lifts their mood.

  2. You receive smiles and gratitude from the hospital staff. The doctors and nurses know how much therapy dogs help and are grateful to have you visit.  

  3. You meet other pet teams and create friendships. Whether during the certification process or a meeting in the hospital, you four—two people and two dogs—already have a lot in common.

  4. You develop an even deeper bond with your pet. Dogs are smart. They know the children with whom they are cuddling are sick. Do dogs take pride in fulfilling a noble purpose? No one can prove it, but the correct answer is yes, they do.

  5. You and your good dog help make an often tough world a more kind and caring place, and that’s truly priceless.      

For more information, visit ChildrensHospital.Vanderbilt.org.