The idea of a pet center inside a major hospital might sound like a far fetched idea right now, but we assure you that it is not! After all, who doesn’t feel better after a few sloppy, wet kisses and lots of furry hugs? And who among us hasn’t wished we could sneak a beloved pet into a hospital room to see an ailing friend or a family member? If you can relate to the idea of pets influencing good health and happy moods, then you’re going to love the story we’re about to share with you.
When most of us think of hospitals, we envision sterile rooms, sick patients and maybe even worried family members. With doctors and nurses hurrying about, a hospital is the last place we’d expect to find a fluffy pooch or a cuddly kitty, right? Well, furry little visitors are exactly what you can now find at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis! Thanks to a hefty donation from the kind folks at Purina, the hospital now offers a pet center where young patients can spend time with their furry best friends as they recover from various illnesses, treatments and surgeries. Pretty awesome, right?
How One Pet Center Became a Reality
Time and time again, studies have shown that pets help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and even help relieve physical pain. With this in mind, Jill Malan, who manages Child Life Services at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, presented the idea of creating a pet center where patients and their families can visit with family pets while still remaining on hospital grounds and close to the medical attention they need. Malan’s idea gained steam and after traveling up the chain of command, the hospital’s foundation secured funding from Purina to the tune of $450,000 to make a brand new pet center happen!
Purina not only paid for the construction of the 300 square foot room, but it also helped pay for its staffing and had a say in the center’s design. A large room with lots of windows allowing natural light to flood inside, the pet center offers a bright and cheerful environment. Equipped with washable surfaces, bright colors and comfortable furnishings, the room is fully stocked with pet toys and treats for furry visitors and their loved ones. It’s even large enough to comfortably fit a hospital bed for patients who are unable to walk or be transported by wheelchair!
Imagine how excited these children will be as each can now enjoy playtime with their most beloved little fur buddies! We know in our hearts that this new pet center will be a success and that it will strengthen many children as they battle to overcome the various health issues that are interrupting their lives. To be able to have such a place where they can escape for fun, excitement, familiarity and love is just the most awesome thing in the world, don’t you agree?
Should every hospital have a pet center? We happen to think they should and we’d love to see this idea spread to hospitals everywhere. But we want to know what you think, so be sure to leave us a comment below and remember to share this post and spread the news about how the wonderful idea of a pet center at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis became a reality. Maybe, just maybe, more people will get behind the idea and make pet centers a standard at every hospital in the nation!