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Doggie Brigade

Since 1992, the Doggie Brigade™ has brought joy, comfort and wagging tails to patients at Akron Children's Hospital. These four-legged volunteers tour the hallways, visit patients in their rooms and stop in the activity rooms to see children who would like a visit. 

Patients often report that for the duration of their 5-10 minute visit, they forget about their illness or pain and feel like a kid.  

Meet Our Doggie Brigade

Does your dog have what it takes to become a Doggie Brigade member?  

Please note: The Akron Doggie Brigade team roster is full.  Apply for the Mahoning Valley team here.

Handler Requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Must commit to 26 hospital visits and 2 hospital-sponsored community events each year
  • Complete the hospital volunteer process (interview, criminal background check, immunization review, tuberculosis screening, canine behavior evaluation, annual flu shot and training)
  • Adhere to all requirements and guidelines of the Akron Children's Hospital Doggie Brigade program, including regular bathing/grooming of your dog
  • Have the ability to work in a busy, complex hospital environment, be team-oriented, be familiar with dog body language and able to advocate for their dog's needs
  • Registered with a hospital-approved therapy dog organization (see therapy dog links for more information)

Therapy Dog Organizations

Dog Applicant Requirements

  • At least one year of age or older
  • In good physical health and up to date on required vaccinations
  • Complete and annual fecal, heartworm and physical veterinary exam
  • Enjoy and seek out interactions and
    • interact politely with unfamiliar people
    • reliably respond to basic cues (sit, down, come, stay, leave it)
    • be comfortable in new environments

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Volunteer Services at 330-543-8424 or volunteers@akronchildrens.org