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Doggie Brigade

Since 1992, the Doggie Brigade™ has brought joy, comfort and sloppy kisses 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 are well enough to be out of bed. There are innumerable stories about how the dogs bring comfort during hospital stays which can be disruptive and scary for patients and their families.

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.  The involvement of the dogs is also attributed to lower blood pressure, lower stress, increased patient compliance with treatments and increased rapport with staff and their environment.

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.

All dogs must pass a thorough veterinary exam and behavioral screening process, be at least a year old, and have lived with their handler for at least 6 months to be accepted into the program.

We accept applications for new teams in January, and screenings are done once a year in March.

Once accepted into the Brigade, the dogs and their owners earn volunteer credit for their visits to the hospital. Doggie Brigade teams must commit to at least 26 hospital visits per year. Akron campus teams are also required to participate in 2 special events annually. Doggie Brigade members are registered by the Pet Partners Program.