When Best Friends Can Visit (Video)

It is well known that animals are highly intuitive beings who excel in the art of healing through their unconditional love. Many times the human-pet bond can be a powerful aid in healing. Anyone who has shared their life with a companion animal and bonded closely has experienced such a healing relationship.

Because of their healing abilities, companion animals often make excellent therapy animals. Many are used in animal-assisted therapeutic programs, giving great comfort to elderly nursing home residents. Therapy cats and dogs can greatly transform the lives of those suffering from stress disorders and who are lonely and depressed.

But despite the healing ability of the human-pet relationship, the majority of hospitals in the United States still refuse to authorize their patients to have even a short visit with their beloved pet. This is justified with  a number of concerns that range from the risk of infection to libel.

Recently though, Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center has joined a dozen other hospitals around the country by compassionately opening their doors to allow patients to receive visits from their pets in their rooms. This decision was made after three years of analysis over logistics, cleanliness and costs which resulted in the belief that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Before this decision was made, sometimes sympathetic staff would arrange “clandestine” visits for patients be with their pets. Or they would look the other way while a visitor snuck an adored pet into a patient’s room for a short time. Now however pet visits are out in the open and totally legal.

The hospital does have a few rules for pet visits. First of all only cats and dogs are presently allowed and everyone concerned must consent to the visit, including the doctor. If the pet has an "accident" the person with the pet must clean it up. Environmental services will then sanitize the area. The pet must be bathed and groomed prior to the visit and is not allowed to interact with any other patients.

An ovarian cancer patient at Rush University Medical Center expressed her gratitude about being able to spend some quality time with her pet Dachshund said, “It just gives me a little piece of home. It’s just wonderful to have someone to hug and help me deal with things.”

Hopefully other hospitals will soon follow their example so that other patients around the country will be able to spend precious moments with their beloved pets.


Responses to "Chicago Hospital now allows Pets to visit Patients"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful, thank you so much for allowing this to take place. I can only imagine the joy these Patients get from being reunited with their loved ones.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Outstanding service to your patience! You showed your heart - and not just your skills! Thank you!

  3. Morgana says:

    Who knows if the little angel on the photo is fine by now. I wish she is fine.

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