Hospital Dogs

Hospital dog Agnes with a patient

MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital currently has two specially trained hospital dogs from Canine Assistants, a nonprofit in Milton, Georgia.

Hospital Dogs are trained to work as part of the healthcare team on a daily basis. They work alongside a hospital employee to provide individualized therapeutic interactions for patients, families and staff.

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.

They help patients cope during stressful procedures by helping to lower anxiety, blood pressure and increasing compliance.

They also provide support to our medical team by boosting morale and helping carry the emotional burden they experience daily.

Hospital Dogs are available to take a limited number of referrals after an appropriate assessment has been made.

Reasons to see a hospital dog 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
  • 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 Hospital Dogs may not be available upon request. Please do not promise your child a visit from a Hospital Dog. We do our best to prioritize and see patients according to therapeutic need. Please email facilitydogs@musc.edu if you would like more information or to request a specific visit for your child.

The love of a dog is cherished by many patients and families. The dogs in our MUSC Volunteer Pet Therapy Program are available to provide affection and comfort by contacting the Volunteer Pet Therapy office.

Meet the Dogs

Cher

MUSC Kids Hospital Dog, Cher.

Cher is the newest member of the Hospital Dog Team. She joined MUSC in November 2022. She is a young golden doodle who was born to a small liter of two puppies, Sonny and Cher. She works alongside a dietician with our Cancer and Blood Disorders team to help children face food-related challenges.

Baskin

MUSC Kids Hospital Dog, Baskin.

Baskin is large golden retriever who started our program in September 2020. He originally worked alongside the Child Life team on our Acute Care Inpatient Unit, but now he is focused on supporting our wonderful care team members. He makes sure everyone is checked on regularly and doesn't miss an opportunity to sniff out who has the treats.

Agnes

MUSC Kids Hospital Dog, Agnes.

Agnes is a golden doodle who started our program with Baskin in September 2020. She worked with the Child Life team on the Cancer and Blood Disorders Unit and retired in June of 2022. You can still find her art work floating around the hospital as she loved to leave her "paw" print for people to remember her.

How You Can Help

Interested in supporting our Hospital Dog Program?

Thanks to the generosity of the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation and Hooked on Miracles, MUSC is able to support these dogs and their handlers.

Help us with our goal of raising two million dollars to create a designated fund 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.