Furry Friends Program
The Alaska Regional Hospital Furry Friends (ARHFF) pet therapy program is affiliated with Pet Partners, an accredited, nonprofit organization that brings together animals and people who love them.
Volunteer pet owners in the community pass a background check and complete specialized training and testing to ensure their pets meet behavioral, grooming, vaccination and veterinary requirements for participating in ARHFF. Pet team members also complete a hospital orientation so they understand the procedures and protocol regarding infection control, safety, ethics, confidentiality and privacy.
Pet therapy is recognized by the medical community for its therapeutic and health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, easing loneliness, and increasing feelings of well-being that help with healing. Visits are scheduled according to the patient’s condition and pet team availability.
At the beginning of each visit, the animal is positioned on a clean pad or sheet. The owner introduces the pet and the patient is invited to interact with the animal. At the end of the visit, the owner assists the patient with hand sanitation and disposing of the pad or sheet.
To schedule a pet team visit, call ARHFF at 264-2928, dial *42928 from a hospital phone, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the national Pet Partners organization, visit petpartners.org or call (425) 679-5530.