Patients at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital can now have all of their family members visit them, even the furry ones. Marking what is the third pediatric hospital family pet center in the United States, the Purina Family Pet Center just recently opened its doors, complete with a Golden Retriever-Labrador mix named Happy Jack who led the “ribbon tugging” ceremony.
Acknowledging the impact that a pet can have on the healing process, one of Purina‘s goals for the center is “to bring joy and overall emotional well-being to children and their families through the therapeutic impact of personal pet interaction.”
The special room created just for children and their pets had thoughts of not only comfort but safety for the patients using the center as well as those in the surrounding hospital areas. All of the surfaces are washable – and cleaned after every visit – and the space can accommodate a child in a wheelchair or a hospital bed. Pets were included in special touches to the room, too, with Purina providing toys for the visiting pets as well as Purina treats.
While the concept of this kind of center is relatively new, the idea behind it isn’t. Summing up something that we’ve always known here at BarkPost, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital states, “Pets are important family members….”
H/t People Pets
Featured image via Purina/Mary Butkus