The Family Pet Center is Open!

With much excitement and a bit of slobbery fanfare, the CancerFree KIDS & Impact 100 Family Pet Center officially opened this morning at our main campus. The ribbon cutting ceremony welcomed members of the CancerFree KIDS and Impact 100 organizations, as well as patient families and furry friends, to celebrate the space that will now give patients who stay with us for five days or longer an opportunity to visit with their own pets while they’re here.

Visits to the Family Pet Center will be coordinated through Child Life and will be reviewed by medical staff.

Within the first couple of weeks, a 14-year-old boy will have an opportunity to visit his beloved dog during one of his many 3+ week stays as an inpatient. Additionally, the team is working with the family of a 15-year-old girl who will be here in October for surgery. Her mom is thrilled to know that a visit with their family’s dog during her daughter’s post-operative recovery period may be a fantastic way to make the lengthy hospital stay more pleasant.

Here’s how the Family Pet Center will work:


Whose pet is eligible?
Patients who stay five days or more may be able to have their pet visit, if medical staff approves.

How do the logistics work?
Child Life will schedule and coordinate the visit. Once families request a visit and medical staff approves, families will receive a confirmation by phone or email with instructions.

On the day of the visit, a Child Life specialist will bring your child to the Family Pet Center, and a volunteer will meet you as you arrive with the pet to escort you to the center. Visiting families will be allowed to park in a designated spot by the Emergency Department entrance.

One adult family member must escort the visiting pet. Pets are not allowed to enter the medical center buildings or patient rooms, and pets cannot be left in a car unattended.

Which types of pets are allowed?
Dogs and cats. Infection Control must clear requests for other types of animals. Reptiles are not allowed. Families must answer questions about the pet before visits are approved. Pets should be current on vaccinations and bathed before a visit.

Contact the Family Pet Center
For more information, email or call 513-636-PETS (7387).

Kate Setter

About the Author: Kate Setter

Kate manages social media at Cincinnati Children's, a role that she loves because it gives her opportunities to help families find stories and pediatric health information that they want and need. Kate is the mother of two elementary-age kiddos.

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  1. Angela Levins September 12, 11:09
    This is a very awesome thing that is happening. Pets become a part of our families and can be very instrumental in the healing process.
  2. Sally S. Geer September 20, 03:31
    Oh this is an absolutely great idea! It's true kids who are confined in the hospital will surely miss their pets and would love to see them. The kids will definitely be happy with this. Pets give comfort, love and they make you happy. I'm sure a lot of kids who are sick will easily recover with this idea.
  3. connie baugh November 08, 09:30
    I think this is a great idea. It is amazing what seeing a childs dog are cat can do in the recovery process. Just another great thing about OUR hospital.