AUSTIN (KXAN) — The team at Dell Children’s Medical Center is getting a helping hand — or paw — from three new medical dogs.
Junie, Reba and Savannah are part of the emBark! program, which is aimed at giving support to children receiving treatment. The $75,000 grant from PetSmart charities helped launch this program.
The medical dogs will work 40 hours a week and be guided by employee handlers. The three dogs are providing more support than pet therapy, which usually only happens once or twice a month.
The highly-trained service dogs will also help the child life team during procedures.
Pets are known to reduce anxiety and stress and boost moods. The dogs have been matched with Certified Child Life Specialist handlers by Canine Companions for Independence.