Hospital Dogs

Hospital dog Agnes with a patient

Meet Agnes & Baskin

MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital welcomed these two specially trained hospital dogs from Canine Assistants, a nonprofit in Milton, Georgia, thanks to the generosity of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation.

Hospital Dogs are trained to work as part of the healthcare team. Their jobs are to provide individualized therapeutic interactions for patients, families and staff.

How We Can Help

Hospital dogs can be part of a patient’s personalized treatment or recovery plan, helping to address specific goals. They can normalize hospitalizations while providing emotional support, play and comfort during stressful situations.

Agnes and Baskin help patients cope during stressful procedures by helping to lower anxiety, blood pressure and increasing compliance of the patient.

How To Request An Intervention

Agnes and Baskin are available to take a limited number of referrals after an appropriate assessment has been made. A care team member can put a consult in Epic under Child Life to alert staff of a specific need and therapeutic reasons for the consult.

Reasons to consult for a patient may include:

  • Ease introduction to hospital and treatment, following a new diagnosis
  • Extensive hospital stay
  • Assistance with pain management
  • Procedural support and other stressful medical events
  • Oncology clinic appointments that are stressful or require support
  • Coping with a traumatic event
  • Support for a family during stressful communication
  • Motivation to be more mobile

Please keep in mind that Agnes and Baskin may not be available immediately upon request. Please do not promise your child a visit from either Hospital Dog. We do our best to prioritize and see patients according to therapeutic need.

Hospital dogs are employees first, pets second. The dogs in our MUSC Volunteer Pet Therapy Program provide affection and comfort and are available for social visits by contacting the Volunteer Pet Therapy office.

How You Can Help

Interested in supporting our Hospital Dog Program?

Help us with our goal of raising two million dollars to create an endowment that ensures these care team members can continue caring for patients and supports the potential for additional Hospital Dogs as new needs arise.

You can make a donation to this endeavor online. Ensure you put “Paws4TheKids” as the donation designation.

For more information, please contact Barbara Rivers, director of development, at riversb@musc.edu or 843-792-6643.