Volunteering: Pet Therapy Program


Based on information from research groups (and from our very own patients!), it is quite clear that visits from specially trained doggie friends can help with the healing process. These caring canines offer comfort and diversion at the bedside for large and small patients alike.

In order to qualify for this program, your dog must:

  • Be at least one year of age.
  • Have all vaccinations current.
  • Know and obey basic obedience commands.

Owners (age 18 and over, please) and their dogs must also:

  • Perform well at a basic “Challenge” test
  • Attend several hours of workshops and hospital trainings as well as complete an apprenticeship program
  • Be certified annually through Therapy Dogs, Inc., at a cost of $20.

All Breeds Welcome: Whether the dog is a tiny Yorkie or a lovable St. Bernard, our patients look forward to Pet Therapy visits. If you and your pooch are interested in this special program, call St. Luke’s Volunteer Office at (208) 727-8407.





Interested in Becoming a Pet Therapy Volunteer?

  • Pet therapy "changes tears into smiles and helps the forgotten to laugh." Visits from these special dogs provide cheer, brighten a stressful day and help patients, visitors, and staff relax.
  • The program provides visits Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and upon special request. During visitations dogs must be clean, neat, friendly, and ready to socialize. Handlers need to be personable, engage in conversation and monitor conditions of the visit.
  • If you would like to become a part of the St. Luke’s family of volunteers, please call (208) 727-8407.

Pet Therapy Dogs

  • All St. Luke’s Pet Therapy dogs must be certified and registered with Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TDI), www.therapydogs.com.
  • TDI is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization with more than four thousand members across North America that provides registration, support and insurance for members that are involved in animal assisted activities. There is an annual $20 TDI registration fee.
  • Dogs in the program must be at least one year old, have annual physical examinations, fecal tests and all current vaccinations. Please review the TDI guidelines. Copies of exam and test results must be kept on file with St. Luke’s.
  • Each dog/handler is required to visit the hospital at least once every three months and attend two canine socialization events annually.

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