Huntsville Hospital receives grant to continue Canines for Coping
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Huntsville Hospital has received a big grant for a program that helps so many people.
PetSmart Charities have given the Huntsville Hospital Foundation a $186,000 grant to continue the Canines for Coping facility dog program. The program, launched in 2019, is completely funded by donors and helps patients and families cope with their hospital experience, according to the program’s website.
The sister-brother dynamic duo Asteroid and Orbit are Golden Retrievers that help the patients at Huntsville Hospital and were the first hospital facility dogs in the state of Alabama. Their support has got an overwhelmingly positive response from the patients that have needed them.
The grant will cover multiple years and help cover the continued costs associated with the dogs, their care, and the care they provide for hospital patients and staff through 2023. The hospital says the grant will enable the program to continue bringing joy, comfort and improved outcomes for patients of all ages.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in hospital settings,” said Kelly Balthazor, Senior Community Grants Manager at PetSmart Charities. “These specially trained dogs bring so much more than cheer. Their integration in therapeutic practices spurs neurological responses that reduce stress, enhance movement and ultimately impact physical, emotional and psychosocial healing. What you see is a dog-loving on a patient, but what’s happening in the mind, body and spirit during those exchanges is truly remarkable.”
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