Doggie Brigade handler Chris Witschey has seen the power animals can have on hospitalized children.One of our brigade’s most dedicated handlers, Witschey has been bringing three dogs, two of which have special needs, to the hospital on a regular basis for the past 8 years.
Twenty years ago, Akron Children’s was the second hospital in the country to create a volunteer pet program, dubbed the Doggie Brigade. The program, patterned after a similar one at Denver Children’s Hospital, makes it possible for dogs to visit youngsters on our patient units and at special events.
After a long winter hiatus, our patients welcomed Petie the Pony and his handlers at Victory Gallop with open arms. Today, Petie was mobbed by kids when he arrived at the nursing station in our school-age inpatient unit, all hankering to get their hands on a horse with which they can see eye to eye. […]