Cincinnati Children’s Welcomes Facility Dogs

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CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced March 14 that it has introduced two facility dogs to the Division of Child Life and Integrative Care.

The golden retrievers, Drummer and Leica, provide physical and emotional support to patients at Cincinnati Children’s as part of the Animal Assisted Therapy program.

Drummer and Leica are specially bred and trained to work as therapy dogs in a hospital setting. Cincinnati Children’s received the dogs from Canine Assistants, a nonprofit organization in Milton, GA, that breeds and trains service dogs and has worked with five other pediatric hospitals across the country.

The facility dogs will be at Cincinnati Children’s every day with their handlers in the Division of Child Life and Integrative Care, and will have access to clinics and inpatient units.

“Drummer comes to work with me every single day. He stays with me throughout the day, and comes home with me at night. And when it’s time for him to retire, he’ll stay with me too,” said Ashley Fiffick, Josh Cares child life specialist, Child Life and Integrative Care.

“My vision is that this is the beginning,” said Sharon McLeod, senior clinical director, Child Life and Integrative Care. “Our dream is that it will grow and we will have more members of our hospital staff that will have beautiful, wagging tails.”

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