donate icon DONATE

Dogs, cats, bunnies and other outgoing animals spread joy to our patients daily

Shriners Children’s pet therapy program provides another component to our wraparound care that our doctors cannot prescribe. Our trusted professionals know a patient’s psychological health is just as important as their physical health. Animal-assisted therapy is proven to help reduce stress for children, making their hospital stay a little less scary. Even if it is just for a moment – a visit with a certified therapy animal provides comfort, entertainment and a positive distraction. Patients and families get the opportunity to forget about impending appointments and procedures, alleviating fear and anxiety. This lightened mood carries on, improving the rest of the day. Sometimes it takes more than just medicine, and at Shriners Children’s, we believe our furry friends provide their own special kind of care.

Pet therapy volunteers must complete all individual hospital volunteer requirements and must provide all required documentation for their pet prior to spreading smiles in our hallways.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Our therapy dogs are like an extended part of the Shriners family. Not just to our patients, but to staff members and other volunteers, too! "
Tara Paustian, Shriners Children's Florida

Evidence-Based Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy


Emotional well-being, self confidence


Calm, relaxation


Adjustment to hospital environment



Perception of pain

female patient during recreational therapy

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids focus on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.


Shriners Children’s provides the full spectrum of pediatric orthopedic care. It's everything from fracture care and casting for broken bones, to surgery and rehabilitation.

Burn Care

Shriners Children’s treats all levels and types of burns, including chemical burns, electrical burns and flame burns. Our pediatric burn care treatment plans are personalized and can include wound care, scar management and reconstruction.

Spine & Spinal Cord

At Shriners Children's, every family can expect our pediatric spine and spinal cord surgeons to provide compassion, respect and a treatment plan that utilizes the most current clinical and scientific research.


Shriners Children’s teams of specialists treat the physical, social, emotional and developmental challenges of craniofacial conditions like cleft palate to help children live full, healthy lives.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.