Wags For Wellness

This unique volunteer program at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center strives to enhance the experience of patients and visitors through dog visits. Wags For Wellness dogs and their handlers are dedicated to bringing smiles and joy through their regular visits and participation in hospital events.

How can my dog and I become a Wags For Wellness team?

All volunteer dog teams at UH Portage Medical Center are required to pass an evaluation through the national non-profit organization, Pet Partners® to ensure the dog is appropriate for visiting in a healthcare setting. To learn about the steps required to become a registered Pet Partner Therapy Animal team, visit https://petpartners.org/volunteer/our-therapy-animal-program/.

What are some of the basic requirements for becoming a registered Pet Partner Therapy Animal team?

  • Your dog must be at least one year old, and have lived with you for at least six months. Handlers must be at least 18 years of age to visit alone.
  • Your dog needs to exhibit have good obedience skills:
    • Remains relatively disinterested in the presence of a neutral dog
    • Enjoys being petted and handled by many folks at the same time
    • Not bothered by a finger hooked in their mouth, or loud, sudden noises
    • Does not exhibit any stress reactions during these activities
  • Your dog does not: growl, bite, bark, whine, chase, attack or attempt to jump on a person or another animal.

For more information about Wags For Wellness, the Pet Partner registration process and upcoming evaluations, contact UH Portage Medical Center Volunteer Services office at 330-297-2591.