Pet Therapy

Paws on a Mission – Pet Therapy

“Pets and people on a mission to help, heal and love!”

Paws On A Mission has provided pet therapy services to Mission Hospital patients and our community since 1999. This delightful program touches many lives through the healing power of pets by spreading smiles, comfort and love to hospital patients of all ages, visitors and staff.

What is pet therapy?

Pet therapy helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Along with the obvious emotional benefits of adoring pets, studies have shown that the presence of animals has a positive effect on human physiology. Pet therapy can decrease a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. But most of all, these furry friends make all of us feel loved and at ease.

Weekly visits to patients at Mission Hospital are provided by trained pet therapy volunteer teams. All visits require physician orders and patient consents. In addition to in-room patient visits, pet therapy teams see visitors and families in waiting rooms and reception areas, as well as staff in many hospital departments.

Participate In Pet Therapy

You and your dog

If you have a well-behaved dog that enjoys meeting people, you may be eligible to become registered as a pet therapy team and volunteer with Paws On A Mission (Paws). Dogs are required to:

  • Be at least a year old and have lived in your household for at least six month
  • Be healthy, parasite-free and up to date on all shots
  • Have basic obedience skills (sit, down, stay, come)
  • Be predictable, friendly, gentle and have good manners

You and your dog must be registered as a pet therapy team with Pet Partners or Alliance of Therapy Dogs before applying.

“Leash-less” volunteer opportunities

You don’t have to have a dog to become involved with Paws. As a “leash-less” volunteer, you play a vital role in assisting therapy dog teams during their visits, helping to ensure safety and acting as a liaison with program participants and facility staff members.

To volunteer for Paws On A Mission, you will need to meet Mission Hospital’s volunteer requirements.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please call our pet therapy coordinators at (828) 213-1055.