PAWH Volunteer Program

Want to brighten the days of Children's patients, along with your pet? Become a PAWH (Pets Assisting With Healing) volunteer! Pets in the PAWH program help patients with development and rehabilitation and brighten their stay in the hospital.


  1. Must be Pet Partners certified (formerly known as Delta Society)
  2. PAWH volunteers are expected to follow Pet Partner guidelines and policies when volunteering at Children's. Obedience training is highly recommended.
  3. Complete Children's Volunteer Application
  4. Personal Interview - Sit down one-on-one with a Children's volunteer coordinator.
  5. General Volunteer Orientation - All volunteers must attend a mandatory 2.5-hour orientation, typically offered one to two times per month at Children's Minneapolis and Children's St. Paul campuses.
  6. Program-specific training with an experienced volunteer - This is a 2-part training:
    • New volunteer shadows experienced volunteer and their pet
    • New volunteer and their pet work under supervision of experienced volunteer.

PAWH Programs

Child Life

  1. Handlers and their pets are invited to visit patients and their families throughout the hospital. Main areas that receive pet visits are medical-surgical inpatient floors, surgery areas, selected waiting rooms, and specialty units.
  2. Volunteer shifts are 2 hours weekly (depending on need and dog's stamina)
  3. Pet visits are needed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  4. Campuses: St. Paul and Minneapolis

Development and Rehabilitation (Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy/Speech Therapy)

  1. Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapists request dogs to participate in a children's therapy sessions. Dogs are used for motivation, sensory stimulation, balance, range of motion, etc.
  2. Volunteer shifts are variable. Most of the time, appointments are one hour per week on an ongoing basis; other appointments are one-time requests. Volunteers can opt to take on multiple requests (two per week, two per day, etc.)
  3. Rehab requests are Monday through Friday during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  4. Campuses: St. Paul, Minneapolis, Roseville, Woodbury, Maple Grove and Minnetonka


We ask our PAWH volunteers to stay with us for one year.


Children's Hospital is grateful for the generous support Children's Hospital Association (CHA) and The Children's Association - Minneapolis have given to the PAWH program. Whether volunteering their time to create custom scarves for each pet volunteer, donating funds to support the program, or becoming certified PAWH volunteers themselves, these amazing groups of women help make pet therapy available for every child during their visit to Children's.

Read stories about how the PAWH program has impacted kids at Children's.

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