Juravinski hospital in Ontario, Canada allows pets to visit their seriously ill humans. The hospital adopted a program called Zachary’s Paws for Healing, launched by Donna Jenkins. She was inspired by her 25-year-old nephew, Zachary, who benefited greatly from having his dogs around him while he was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“While Zachary was in the hospital for many weeks and very sick after having a stem cell transplant, he begged to see his dog, Chase,” Jenkins told Bored Panda. “We sneaked Chase into ICU to see him and the effect it had on Zachary was remarkable. When Zachary realized he was not going to survive his cancer, he made me promise to start the organization. We had our official first patient visit September 15, 2015.
“We know that when patients get to see their pet, it can improve vital signs, improve depression and the feeling of isolation, it opens communication back up and it is a reminder for a reason for the patient to get well and return home.” The visits are weekly and they usually take 1 hour. The pets are thoroughly cleaned before entering the hospital and they are kept away from other patients.