A Canadian Hospital Lets Patients Meet Their Pets to Get Well Sooner, and It’s a Sweet Thing to See

year ago

Pets can make us feel better when we are not feeling well. A supportive lick, a cozy cuddle, or a generously shared piece of their tastiest bone can work like a charm and drive the clouds away. It can be so sad for people who are hospitalized to have to stay away not only from their homes and families, but also from their beloved furry friends. But thanks to Zachary Noble this can become a thing of the past.

We at Bright Side are blinking through happy tears while looking at these sincere emotions. And we want you to feel it too.

This all started when Zachary Noble was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Unfortunately, he had an aggressive form of the disease and was resistant to chemotherapy. He spent a lot of time in the hospital and longed to see his favorite dogs. And his medical team made this dream come true.

Zachary enjoyed 2 dog visits and felt significantly better after them. “We watched the change in his stress level, his desire to get well enough to go home, and his overall happiness,” says his aunt Donna Jenkins. Before he died, he created a plan to provide companion pet visits in the hospital he stayed in. And Donna promised to make it work.

Now Zachary’s Paws For Healing is a reality, but it is difficult to imagine how much effort was put into this initiative. Donna closely worked with the medical staff of Juravinski Hospital, as well as infection control and volunteer services, to develop all the procedures and policies that were needed. They wanted to be sure that all patients would be protected from potential infections or bacteria that such a meeting could bring.

But the patient’s safety is not the only thing in focus. The Zachary’s Paws For Healing team evaluates the safety of each animal before the visit. It is important to understand if the environment is going to be too stressful for them. If there are any risks for the animals, they won’t be taken to see their owners.

Thanks to Zachary and Donna, a lot of people have managed to see their favorite friends and some of them did it for the last time. But we are sure that it helped them forget about their isolation, and find a little more support and hope. Here are some more photos of these touching meetings:

Do you think that owners should be able to see their furry friends when staying in hospitals for a long time?

Preview photo credit zacharyspawsforhealing.com


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The idea is honestly just great! :)

And not sure who are more happy in this situation - the owners or the animals


Ahh, when I was in the hospital I missed my dog go much. I wish they let us do the same. Pretty sure I would get better really quick


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