Pets have the power to help their owners feel better, and there’s one health facility in particular that seems to understand that.

The exceptional Juravinski Hospital in Ontario Canada actually permits pets to visit their owners who are seriously sick!


The hospital recently adopted a helpful program called Zachary’s Paws for Healing. Launched by Donna Jenkins, a woman who was inspired by her ill 25-year-old nephew named Zachary.

She noticed that he benefited substantially by having his dogs around him while he was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The hospital adopted a program called Zachary’s Paws for Healing, launched by Donna Jenkins

After Zachary had been in the hospital for weeks following a stem cell transplant, he was begging to see his dog, Chase. So, his sympathetic family began sneaking Chase into the ICU to visit and the effect it had was really remarkable.

However, when Zachary eventually realized he was not going to survive his cancer, he made a promise to start the caring organization.

“When patients get to see their pet, it can improve vital signs, improve depression and the feeling of isolation,” Jenkins told

Thankfully, his idea endured and the hospital had its first ‘official’ authorized pet/patient visit on September 15, 2015.

It’s apparent that when ailing owners get to see their pet, it can improve vital signs, relieve depression and remove the feeling of isolation. For many, it can even remind them of the reason they must try to get better and go home.

“The pet can visit for an hour and can come once a week”

The program is well organized and visits are carefully supervised. They can occur weekly and usually last for around 1 hour.

Certain safety measures are also taken, as the pets are thoroughly cleaned before being allowed in the hospital, plus they are also kept away from other patients.

“Of course, no one is keeping strict time. A good visit is what counts”

If you’d like to get more involved and help to carry on what Zachary started, perhaps consider introducing a similar program at your local hospital. After all, it would not hurt to inquire, and it could surely help to inspire a lot of lives!

And if you’re inspired by this story, please let us know and/or share it.


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