Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program
During Your Visit
We provide an Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program to patients and their families for therapeutic purposes. Scientific research has shown a patient's interaction with an animal can provide positive physical and emotional benefits. It can reduce stress levels and invoke a sense of well-being. AAT acts as a catalyst to motivate patients to help themselves. A child will happily take a dog for a walk, or throw the animal a ball, forgetting the pain for a little while and moving closer to going home. Among the benefits of animal-assisted therapy are the ways it motivates children to:
- Get up, move, walk, leave their room and play.
- Participate in therapy (physical, occupational and speech).
- Forget their discomfort or pain.
- Interact more with others.
- Improve their mood.
- Improve their interactions with family and staff.
- Do things that may be a struggle, such as eating, taking medication or waiting.
Our volunteer therapy animals and owners are trained and nationally-certified. Patient bedside visits are requested by the patient's doctors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists or child life specialists. We work with the patient's care team to create a session that works toward the patient's treatment goals.
For more information about animal-assisted therapy for your child's stay at the Hospital, please email the program coordinator, Mary Lou Jennings, or call 602-933-2136. For information on how to become involved in the program as a volunteer, check out our Animal-Assisted Therapy volunteer page.
Your Donations Count
Our Animal-Assisted Therapy Program is completely funded by the proceeds from special events and donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. If you would like to support the Program, there are a couple ways to contribute:
Dine With Your Dog
Dine With Your Dog, presented by PetSmart, is an annual celebration of support for our Animal-Assisted Therapy Program with a Champagne Sunday Brunch. Guests mingle with fellow animal lovers, explore the pet play areas, enjoy a fabulous silent auction and a lovely brunch. Visit DineWithYourDog.org to find out more, view photos and register!
Sending a donation
You can send a tax deductible check to:
Phoenix Children's Foundation
Attn: Animal Assisted Therapy Program
2929 E. Camelback Road, Suite 122
Phoenix, AZ 85016
- or -
Visit our online donation page
Thank you for your support!