REX Fur Friends
The REX Fur Friends program allows therapy dogs to visit patients for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon Mondays through Fridays.
Benefits of Animal Assisted Activities
The dogs are a welcome distraction and help reduce anxiety that can accompany hospital visits. REX Fur Friends gives patients the opportunity to interact safely with our volunteer dogs and receive their unconditional love and acceptance in the hopes of making the hospital environment more comfortable and less stressful.
Additional benefits of pet therapy are:
- Positive therapeutic experiences that help minimize the stress of the hospital environment
- Reduced anxiety and enhanced coping skills by providing a distraction from illness and hospitalization
- Increased normalization of the hospital experience by making it more "home-like"
Our pet therapy teams consist of one volunteer and one dog who commit to an extensive training process in order to receive certification. Sometimes teams include staff members and an additional volunteer liaison for support.
The training process can be labor intensive in the beginning to become a REX Fur Friends team, but the rewards are tremendous. In addition to being Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Pet Partners or Therapy Dogs International registered, dogs must undergo annual veterinarian exams, and be up to date with their immunizations. All owners will undergo a shadowing and mentoring process before becoming a REX Fur Friends team.
- We ask that volunteers commit to at least two visits per month.
- Volunteers must be 21 years old.
How to Apply
- First, become a Pet Partner, Alliance of Therapy Dogs or Therapy Dogs International, the outside registering organization.
- On the application, under Volunteer Service Areas Preferred, please list Fur Friends as your preferred volunteer assignment.
Once your application has been submitted, you will be provided a link to complete an online compliance test. You must complete the online module before you can attend orientation.
- Attend our onboarding session