Canine Therapy web

Our canine volunteers make approximately 15,000 bedside visits and 1,000 playroom visits each year.

PetSmart Paws for Hope at Rady Children’s

PetSmart Paws for Hope at Rady Children’s, our canine therapy program, helps to reduce the stress of hospitalization and illness.

Currently, we have 40 canine volunteers. Each dog is escorted through the Hospital by its handler/owner along with a volunteer escort. Visits usually last about five minutes and take place with the consent of the patient, parent/guardian and medical staff.

Along with decreasing stress, these visits:

  • Provide warmth, comfort and a sense of familiarity.
  • Offer “normal life” experiences.
  • Provide distraction from pain, medical treatments and daily hospital routines.
  • Encourage interaction and communication.
  • Bring laughter and smiles.

Due to the overwhelming interest in our program and the very low attrition rate, we are not accepting applications at this time.

Pet Smart Charities logoWe want to thank PetSmart for its generous donation, which will help us to further enhance this important program.


In the News

Health Care is Going to the Dogs—and That’s a Very Good Thing, Los Angeles Times, features Volunteer Services Manager Sylvie Sneep.

Must-See Video! A big thank you to our friends at GoPro, who volunteered their time to put together this amazing video of one of our canine volunteers in action: