The Joy in Childhood Foundation Brings 11 In-residence Service Dogs to Pediatric Hospitals Nationwide

The Joy in Childhood Foundation Brings 11 In-residence Service Dogs to Pediatric Hospitals Nationwide

This July, the Dogs for Joy grant program will provide 11 trained in-residence service dogs to nine premiere pediatric hospitals nationwide, bringing joy and animal-assisted therapy to nearly 150,000 pediatric patients and family members.

Launched in 2018, the Dogs for Joy program is the first of its scale initiative aimed at increasing the number of dogs who work full-time in children’s hospitals in order to bring joy to kids battling illness. In partnership with their designated trained handlers (typically doctors, palliative care leads, or child life specialists), these dogs play a critical part of patients’ treatment plans, trained to do tasks like teach kids how to take a pill, keep a child calm during a medical intervention, provide incentives for a child to get out of bed for a walk, and much more.


Each hospital partner submitted a proposal to Joy in Childhood Foundation earlier this year, and grantees will receive trained facility dogs at an upcoming “Day of joy” event.

Hospital partners to receive an in-residence service dog include:

  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado (Aurora, CO)
  • Medical University of South Carolina Foundation (Charleston, SC)
  • Cleveland Clinic Children’s (Cleveland, OH)
  • Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers, FL)
  • Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (New Haven, CT)
  • The Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • CHOC Children’s Hospital (Orange, CA); and
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

Grant amounts vary but typically range between $50,000-150,000. To be eligible, applicants must be a children’s hospital or general hospital with a dedicated pediatric department and be within geographic proximity to Dunkin’ or Baskin-Robbins locations. Hospitals interested in future Dogs for Joy grants may learn more at and inquire about eligibility and participation at

To learn more about the Joy in Childhood Foundation stories, events and other news, follow along @JoyinChildhood on Instagram!

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