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Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai Hires First Full-Time Facility Dog
[June 19, 2017]

Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai Hires First Full-Time Facility Dog


PetSmart Charities, Inc.:

WHAT:
A celebratory 'meet and greet' event welcoming Professor Bunsen Honeydew, an 18-month-old golden doodle, to Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai will mark the kick-off of Paws & Play supported by PetSmart Charities, which aims to help young patients and families better cope with the social and emotional challenges they face during medical treatments and illnesses. This is the first program of its kind in the state of New York to pair a Certified Child Life Specialist with a trained facility dog to provide Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT).

As the first step towards an expanded animal-assisted therapy regime, the program is being supported by a $350,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, that will be distributed over the course of three years.

WHO/INTERVIEWS:
Joining Professor Bunsen Honeydew at the celebratory launch will be:

  • David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, on the effects of the human-animal bond.
  • Diane Rode, director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai.
  • Professor's handlers and Certified Child Life Specialists Ali Spike and Toshiko Nonaka.
  • Kravis cancer patients that benefit from visits from Professor and their parents including Aiden, a 2-year-old treated for leukemia, and Marian, a 16-year-old in active cancer treatment.

WHERE:
The Child Life Zone, Kravis Children's Hospital, 1184 Fifth Ave. at 99th Street, New York, NY 10029

WHEN:
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

VISUALS:

  • Professor, an 18-month-old golden doodle and facility og, and his handlers interacting with pediatric patients
  • A check presentation from PetSmart Charities
  • PetSmart Charities and PetSmart representatives, including PetSmart's president and CEO, Michael Massey

WHY:
The healing power of pets is evident in times of need when four-legged friends provide great joy, emotional support and therapy to young patients, their families and hospital staff. The goal is to reduce the stress and ease the anxieties often associated with receiving hospital treatment at a young age.

Professor Honeydew Brunson will work side-by-side with a certified child life specialist across a variety of settings, assisting patients experiencing painful or anxiety-inducing procedures, long-stay hospitalizations and lengthy treatments, including chemotherapy, to enhance patients' social and emotional needs, and increase their overall coping and adjustment. Professor will be based primarily in the Blau Center for Children's Cancer and Blood Disease and the Alice Gottesman Bayer Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.


PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, recently expanded its mission to include finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. This new mission allows the organization to support animal welfare organizations in more ways than ever before, and even reach other nonprofits, like Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai, that help connect people and pets. The new "Enhancing the Quality of Life Through Pets" grant category, open year-round for applications, supports programs that train pets to become service animals for military veterans or people with disabilities and for pet therapy programs at places such as hospitals, schools, and senior homes.

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row -- placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org


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