Visit with your pet or our therapy animals
At Aurora BayCare we believe in and support the positive benefits of pet therapy. Pet visits reduce anxiety and provide a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine.
Who can have a visit?
Pets may visit any unit with the exception of intensive care and labor/delivery patients or patients on contact precautions.
What kind of animals could you see?
Aurora BayCare Medical Center prides itself on having one of the largest pet therapy programs in the state. Our volunteer program includes dogs, cats, and even a miniature horse!
When do the volunteer teams visit?
Certified volunteer pet therapy teams visit patients regularly (depending on team availability). To respect the fact that not everyone enjoys animals or may be feeling up for a visit, patients are asked in advance if they would like a visit. Volunteer teams will visit as many patients as they can during the time their animal is able work.
Can my dog visit me?
Yes! We ask that your dog be accompanied by a non-patient. They must be on a leash during their visit and may only visit with their owner/family member. We prefer that visiting pets be freshly bathed. Please discuss any non-traditional pet visits with your nurse supervisor or unit manager first.
What about health and safety?
Your chances of getting a disease from a cat or dog are small (most transmissions occur via fecal-oral contact). Hand washing prior to and after pet therapy visitation is highly recommended.
How can my pet and I join the Pet Therapy program?
Therapy pets are well-mannered family pets with a good disposition. All volunteer dogs are required to have Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certification as well as a current certification with a reputable pet therapy organization (such as Alliance of Therapy Dogs). This ensures the animals and volunteers are properly trained and qualified. Animal handlers must be at least 14 years old. Contact our Pet Therapy Coordinator to get involved.