DOG + Medical Professional + 1 hospital daily + strict safety protocols = Hospital Facility Dog Program

How does it work?





              Shine On! Kids’ Hospital Facility Dog Program pairs a “Facility Dog”, specially trained for 1.5 to 2 years to international service dog standards to work in a children’s hospital with a “Clinician Handler”, a medical professional who has acquired the knowledge and skills for handling the Facility Dog. Together they work everyday at a single children’s hospital as part of the medical team supporting the care of the sickest pediatric patients. All of Shine On! Kids’ Hospital Facility Dog handlers are certified nurses with years of clinical experience. 


              Because the handler is a medical professional, they:

  • Have access to medical records to better plan interventions
  • Understand the specific challenges of each patient’s current condition
  • Understand the special care needed in managing the dog around the patient
  • Are accustomed to implementing strict infection control protocols
  • Have experience supporting very ill patients and family members



Some activities include:


  • Visiting individual patients bedside
  • Walking/riding with patients to surgery 
  • Sitting with patients during a variety of medical procedures such as lumbar punctures
  • Working with patients during rehab
  • Crawling into bed and help distressed children fall asleep
  • Comforting family members
  • Supporting the medical and hospital staff



January 17, 2022

And…it’s a wrap! Shine On! Kids had a GREAT year!

2021…in many ways, was one of the most productive years ever for Shine On! Kids. All of the restrictions of Covid simply highlighted how important building resilience and providing psychological care is for EVERYONE…but yes, in particular, for our kids in hospital.

June 27, 2021

Two New Facility Dog Teams Trained Domestically by Shine On! Kids Begin Work in Japanese Hospitals

Two new Hospital Facility Dog Teams are starting work this summer thanks to Shine On! Kids’ Facility Dog Training Project launched in fiscal year 2019. This brings the total number of children’s hospitals in Japan with Facility Dogs to four.

June 27, 2021

We have some happy news for you this month!

We are so excited to announce that Ty and Masa are now starting work with their handlers in their new hospitals! Thank you to everyone who supported this 2-year journey including our many generous donors and our puppy volunteers. It takes a village to raise a Hospital Facility Dog!