August 1, 2019
The soothing touch of petting a dog, the delight of seeing its tail wag and that special connection of making eye contact are what patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) experience when Pet Team Volunteers make their calls. Pet teams at VICC are registered and evaluated through a national organization, such as Pet Partners or Intermountain Therapy Animals.
“The benefits of a formal pet volunteer program are extensive. It defines personalized care. Animal visits bring joy to patients during some of their most difficult days, enhancing social and emotional well-being and relieving stress. And the staff enjoy the pets as much as the patients do.” – Julie Bulger, manager of Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Average number of patients visited in a day
The number of volunteer dogs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (18 at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center)
The number of hours it takes to train a volunteer dog