Child Life Services
Hasbro Children's Hospital

Animal Visitation Program

The Animal Visitation Program at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital brings comfort and ease to young patients through visits from specially trained dogs. Studies have shown that visits from animals can enhance a patient’s mood and well-being, and reduce their anxiety. For children, hospital stays can be especially scary and lonely. Having a visit from a four-legged friend can lift their spirits and provide some much-needed distraction, affection and fun.

If you would like to participate in the Animal Visitation Program as a volunteer, you must meet the requirements below.

animal visitation

Animal Visitation Volunteer Openings

Rhode Island Hospital Volunteer Services currently has openings for animal visitation volunteers. Please call 401-444-8635 for more information or to schedule an interview.

Hasbro Children’s Hospital is currently at capacity and is not accepting new dogs or adding to the waitlist.


All dogs must:

  • Be at least 2 years of age
  • Receive canine temperament evaluation by an approved agency, such as Therapy Dogs International or PetPartners
  • Have their vaccines up to date
  • Have a veterinary checklist completed by the dog’s veterinarian (checklist provided by volunteer services)

Owners must:

  • Submit a complete application with references
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Interview with hospital staff
  • Provide an updated immunization record
  • Submit to two tuberculosis tests
  • Complete an orientation about hospital policies and procedures
  • Commit to a minimum of one hour each week for at least 100 hours
  • Adhere to uniform and dress code policy
  • Complete a criminal background investigation authorization form (provided by volunteer services)

Learn more about Child Life Services at Lifespan