Not all employees wag their tails when they get to work, but on National Employee Appreciation Day, March 4, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is celebrating our four-legged friends who bring joy to kids battling illness across the country.
Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program works to place highly specialized in-residence service dogs in pediatric healthcare facilities throughout the country. These full-time employees of the hospital care teams not only serve as a source of happiness for patients, but their role is critical to patients’ treatment plans.
[Trotter & Kid at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital]
Whether they’re teaching kids how to take a pill and modeling how to wear a hospital gown or joining patients for a walk and providing emotional comfort during medical procedures, these “Dog-tors” bring “pawsitivity” to kids on any given day.
[Valentina at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center]
“Across the country, we’ve seen the incredible impact these dogs have on patients, families and hospital staff on a daily basis,” said April McGonnigal, Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. “The Dogs for Joy program has brought so much positivity and happiness to patients, and most importantly, helped them even on the worst days. Our goal is to bring joy to as many kids as possible. We encourage pediatric healthcare providers to learn more about our Dogs for Joy program and apply to bring this program to the kids in their care.”
[“Dog-tor” Bob bringing joy to a patient at Tuft’s Children’s Hospital]
Launched in 2018, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s “Dogs for Joy” program has granted 32 full-time pediatric service dogs to 17 children’s hospitals across the country.
For more information on the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s “Dogs for Joy” program and how healthcare providers can apply to receive granting for an in-residence dog, visit www.bringjoy.org