Animal Assisted Activities (Pet therapy)

PAWH – Pets Assisting with Healing

Pets Assisting with Healing (PAWH) is a volunteer service certified through Pet Partners with teams at both the Children’s Minnesota Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. The goal of our PAWH program is to normalize the hospital environment, support a human-animal bond, encourage conversation and interaction, and brighten the days of patients, families and staff. Therapy dogs and animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs visit inpatient units. Dog teams also visit our St. Paul surgery areas, emergency departments and some outpatient areas. Please check the playroom for more information on when animals will be visiting.

PAWH teams are also used during physical rehabilitation sessions to help motivate children to meet their occupational, speech or physical therapy goals.


Once a month, staff from the Minnesota Zoo brings small animals to visit patients and families that are able to leave their room at the Minneapolis and St. Paul hospitals. This is a great time for patients to get out of their rooms to visit with and learn more about animals, and interact with their peers.

This program provided in part by a grant from PetSmart Charities.