NutriSource has expanded its support of facility/therapy dog programs at children’s hospitals across the country by making a five-year financial commitment to the PawPrints Therapy Dog Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the top ranked children’s hospital in the country nine years in a row according to U.S. News & World Report.
PawPrints is the Boston Children’s Hospital’s animal assisted activity program. More than 20 dogs, owned by hospital volunteers, provide patients and their families with a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine and an opportunity for social interaction. The dogs visit most inpatient units, several outpatient clinic areas, the emergency department and other designated areas of the hospital, as well as some of the hospital’s satellite locations.
Interaction with therapy dogs has been shown to reduce blood pressure, provide physical stimulation and assist with pain management. Therapy dogs can also lift moods and can improve coping and recovery.
“Nothing is more important than the health of our children,” said Chase Rasmussen, President of KLN Family Brands, the parent company of NutriSource. “We know a wet nose and wagging tail can lift spirits. The child of one of our employees recently underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. The exceptional care provided by the medical team and comforting visits by therapy dogs inspired us to support PawPrints so that other families undergoing a stressful time have the same positive experience.”
“For children in the hospital, spending time with the PawPrints dogs is often the brightest time of day,” said Miranda Day, Boston Children’s director of Family and Volunteer Services. “These furry friends comfort our patients in good times and in challenging moments. We are grateful for the support from NutriSource for our PawPrints program here at Boston Children’s!”
NutriSource’s commitment to PawPrints includes significant financial support along with food and treats for the program’s therapy dogs.
In 2019, funding from NutriSource allowed the M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis to launch a facility dog program. NutriSource is also in the process of finalizing support for facility dog programs at other children’s hospitals across the country.