Pet Therapy

Wagging tails bring smiles and comfort

Our four-legged team members are true miracles with paws as they visit patients at our hospitals.

Pet Therapy Program

A wet nose, a warm heart and a silky coat…sometimes there is no more effective medicine than that. Watch to see how our Pet Therapy dogs make a lasting impact on patients and hospital associates.

Danielle K., a patient's daughter, can attest to this:

“Both of my parents were SO moved by Parker’s presence; it has made a huge difference in everyone’s spirits. My Dad’s mood was lifted very clearly and my Mom was brought back to how much she loved their pup, Jack, which is a feeling and a memory often pushed to the backburner these days. Visiting with you and Parker, I think, helped my Dad know that all of us, and those at Providence, too, see him and not just a patient. I saw him smile for the first time in a long time; I simply cannot overstate how much it means to all of us, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Katherine D., a past patient tells her story:

When I was in a car wreck, the pain was unlike anything I'd ever experienced; I was in complete agony. I was taken to Ascension Southeast Michigan's ER. My husband and co-worker were in the room with me, and I was in terrible pain and could not stop crying. They saw someone in the hall with a Black Lab. I love dogs, so he was brought into my room. Because of my injuries, I couldn't turn my head to look at him. But the instant I put my hand on that dog's head, I smiled for the first time since the wreck. I will never forget that moment—I felt so good and happy. My husband and I have two Labs of our own; if I couldn't have them next to me, this was definitely the next best thing. That dog was only there a few minutes, but I will love him forever. I'm very glad that Providence realizes how beneficial it is to have dogs available. Thank you.

Man’s best friends bring comfort, smiles and a calming effect as they spend their days visiting patients, greeting visitors and associates, and attending events. Specially trained by Paradise Dog Training, these therapy/facility dogs have extensive socialization skills and are very calm. Our canine colleagues are cared for by volunteer dog handlers, work weekday hours and spend non-working time living with host families as regular dogs.

Donations enable our therapy/facility dogs to be on-site at the hospitals to bring cheer to those they visit; no operational dollars are spent on this program. We are grateful for the individual donations received along with a grant from Consumers Energy Foundation and the complimentary veterinary services and pet supplies that have made this program possible. Among those giving their time, services and goods are: Animal Crackers Pet Salon, Brighton Animal Hospital, Bryce Denison Photography/Midwest Photography Workshops, Fuzzy Friends Grooming, Dr. Michael Hermesmeyer, Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, Paradise Dog Training, Pet Supplies Plus, Plaza Veterinary Hospital, This-n-That for Pets Grooming and Thomson Animal Clinic.

To support the spirit-boosting pooches, please contact Heidi Crisman at 248-465-4511 or donate online today.


Team Member

Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi Campus

Parker: Black Labrador Retriever, birth date: 6/27/2006
DOC: Black Labrador Retriever, birth date: 7/7/2013

Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus

Wilbur: Golden Retriever, birth date: 4/19/2008

Clyde: Chocolate Labrador Retriever, birth date: 7/6/2014

Ascension St. John Hospital

Hope: Yellow Labrador Retriever, birth date: 5/23/2009

Paxton: Yellow Labrador Retriever, birth date: 12/14/2015

Ascension River District Hospital Murphy: Golden Retriever, birth date: 10/23/2010
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren Hoover: Black Labrador Retriever, birth date: 2/4/2012
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Madison Heights Quinn: Golden Retriever, birth date: 2/14/2010
Ascension Brighton Center for Recovery Lilly: Golden Retriever, birth date: 1/9/2011

*photo attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy