Patients at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital received a special visit on Dec. 20 – dogs dressed in holiday attire.
About 15 dogs and their owners, all members of UCLA Health System’s People-Animal Connection (PAC), spread plenty of holiday cheer to patients throughout the morning.
Dressed in holiday outfits, the canine volunteer teams strolled through the pediatrics unit and other hospital areas, singing songs and entertaining patients, their families and hospital staff.
UCLA Health System’s PAC is an animal-assisted therapy program in which trained volunteers and their dogs visit hospital patients to provide a more humane environment and help in the recovery process.
Since its humble beginnings in 1994 with one pet-therapy team, the program has grown to more than 50 teams that visit more than 40 hospital areas and 450-plus patients each month.
The program is supported solely by donations.