The American Red Cross sponsors the Human Animal Bond Program, a Pet Facilitated Therapy Program at Tripler Army Medical Center which uses 36 dogs to assist a therapist in helping patients who are recovering from physical, mental or social illness. In this Animal Visitation Program, volunteers bring pets to wards, clinics and waiting areas for informal visits. All animals are screened by Army Veterinary Services and must pass strict behavioral and physical qualifications to be a part of this program. All handlers also receive special training.
Four doctors, along with 2 pharmacists, are full-time Red Cross volunteers. Volunteers donate about 24,000 hours per year at Tripler, which is equivalent to 10 full-time employees. All Tripler volunteers are processed through the Red Cross office there and work in various areas.
Check out their online auction at www.hawaiiredcross.org.
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