Ronald McDonald House Launches "Pets as Friends" Program to Bring Smiles and Warmth to FamiliesMay 22, 2018
Just being around friendly, well-trained pets can bring smiles, calmness and brighten a day for families and children coping with stressful situations. Families with children undergoing medical treatment and staying at one of the Valley’s three Ronald McDonald Houses of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHC-CNAZ) experience those challenges, sometimes daily.
To help ease that stress, RMHC-CNAZ has launched a Pets as Friends program for volunteers with well-trained and certified pets through Pet Partners or Alliance for Therapy Dogs to bring their dogs to the campuses “simply to spend time with the children and families staying with us,” said Executive Director Nancy Roach.
Volunteers in the program will bring their dogs into the House’s family room or library during dinner time “so families and children can pet them, play with them and be around them to give them a bit of comfort,” Roach said.
Pets as Friends visits will take place between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on designated evenings. Volunteers accepted into the program must provide certification of accreditation and commit to the program for a minimum of six months.