Our therapy dogs bring joy, comfort and healing to Orlando Health patients, family members and staff.

We are proud of our pet therapy teams and always looking for more teams to join our program. If you have a dog that loves people and has a calm temperament, consider volunteering with the Orlando Health Pet Therapy Program. Here is how...

Becoming a Pet Therapy Volunteer

Patient and SimbaFirst, determine if you meet eligibility requirements:

1. Registered with one of the following national organizations
Pet Partners: www.petpartners.org
Therapy Dogs Inc: www.therapydogs.com
Therapy Dogs International: www.tdi-dog.com

2. Age and dog ownership
You are at least 18 years old and have owned your dog for at least 6 months.

3. Meet commitment requirements
You are able to volunteer with your dog at least 2 times per month.

If eligible, please fill out an online volunteer application and contact the Volunteer Manager at the hospital where you wish to volunteer. Once you application is processed, you will be contacted to schedule an interview with you and your dog.

Volunteer Application links:

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
Dr. P. Phillips Hospital
South Seminole Hospital

Volunteer Managers Contact Information

Patient and petDowntown Adult Hospitals 321-841-1967
Ambulatory Care Center
Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC)
UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health (UFHCC)
Orlando Health Heart Institute (OHHI)
Outpatient clinics

South Seminole Hospital 321-842-6215

Dr. P. Phillips Hospital 321-842-8615

Arnold Palmer Hospital 321-841-5932

About Orlando Health Pet Therapy Program – PetSmart Paws for Hope

Although Pet Therapy started at Orlando Health a number of years ago, the generosity of both Chris Barley and PetSmart has launched the Program forward to where it is now, an Orlando Health corporate-wide program. In addition, PetSmart’s sponsorship makes it the first adult hospital program in the country to be a “PetSmart Paws for Hope” Program.

Pet Volunteers

"Sharing my time and dog with patients has had such a positive and inspirational impact on my life, truly a rewarding experience" Beth McSpadden, Orlando Health Pet Therapy Team

Here at Orlando Health, our pet therapy teams engage in both Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy. We currently have 40 teams making over 60,000 pet therapy visits each year at six different hospitals and various clinics.Our canine therapists may not have MDs but they do have impressive credentials. They are sensitive, loving and they know stuff like sit, stay, come, and how to walk on a loose leash. They are controllable, predictable, reliable and responsive to their handlers. They are registered with a national organization, and genuinely look forward to visiting hospital patients. They are fearless of hospital noises, love to ride the elevator, and don’t mind being groomed before each visit. When they visit patients they exhibit, reliable, controllable, and predictable behavior, and they are genuinely “tail wagging” happy. They have a language all their own that delivers the best medicine, a smile.   Handlers are an equally important part of the Pet Therapy team. The handler must possess the skills and knowledge required to visit guests in various types of medical facilities and often in challenging situations both emotionally and physically. It is critical that handlers are people oriented; enjoy listening, and show great empathy and compassion. The handler must also have good control of their animal and communicate clearly with their animal at all times. Please watch the following videos to see our amazing pet therapy teams in action:


Orientation Manual

We hope you will consider joining our Program. To learn more about our Program and procedures, please review the Pet Therapy Orientation Manual for the Adult Hospitals. Many of your questions regarding specific Program requirements will be answered in this document.


For More Information Please Contact

Amy Flom
PetSmart Paws for Hope Program Coordinator


If you are not able to participate in the Program as a Pet Therapy Team Member but still wish to offer support, please consider making a donation. Donations help us expand the Pet Therapy Program throughout the Orlando Health Hospital System.


Meet Our Pet Therapy Dogs

 Cooper Daisy Mai Ginnie
Morgan Samson  

Adult Hospitals

Cooper Belle Conrad
Mia Molly Gracie
Morgan Paxton Sierra
Simba Thor  Tiberious
Sammy 2 Tinka Ginnie
Murphy Tab Tori