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Wags Animal-Assisted Therapy

Do you have a special dog, some spare time and a desire to volunteer in your community? If so, Palos Hospital is interested in hearing from you for possible involvement in Wags, our Animal-Assisted Therapy program.

How It Works

At the request of a patient, specially trained dogs and handlers are available to visit hospital rooms for about five or 10 minutes each day. Research has determined that such visits aid in reducing stress, anxiety, pain and blood pressure, which, in turn, can aid the healing process.

How You Can Help

Palos Hospital is in need of naturally confident and docile dogs and dedicated owners/handlers to participate in the program. Dogs must be at least one year old, demonstrate proficiency in basic obedience, and be up-to-date on vaccinations, among other health standards. Dog handlers must be at least 18 years old, be a caring individual with good communication skills and have time to make a twice a month commitment.

How to Apply

People wishing to volunteer for Palos Hospital's Wags program need to complete and mail back an application or apply online. Selected applicants will be invited to have their dog's temperament tested. Handlers and their dogs who pass will attend a thirty hour training and certification program.

For further information, please call 708-923-5593.