Paws on a Mission – Pet Therapy Since 1999, Paws on a Mission has provided pet therapy services to Mission Hospital patients and the community. The program has touched many lives through the healing power of pets, comforting hospital patients, visitors and staff of all ages. What is pet therapy? Pet therapy can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that the presence of animals have a positive effect on human physiology. Pet therapy can also decrease a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. Most of all, these furry friends can make one feel loved and at ease. In addition to in-room patient visits, pet therapy teams interact with visitors and families in various areas of the hospital, including regular interaction with hospital staff. All patient visits require physician orders and patient consents. Eligible dogs must: Be at least one (1) year old and have lived in your household for at least six months Be healthy, parasite-free and up to date on all shots Have basic obedience skills (sit, down, stay, come) Be predictable, friendly, gentle and have good manners Be registered as a pet therapy team with Pet Partners or Alliance of Therapy Dogs before applying “Leash-less” volunteer opportunities As a “leash-less” volunteer, you will play a vital role in assisting pet therapy dog teams during their visits, ensuring safety for all. This role also serves as a liaison with program participants and facility team members. To volunteer for Paws on a Mission, you will need to meet Mission Hospital’s volunteer requirements. Questions? Contact 828-213-1058 or email us.