Pastoral Care Services
Personal Pet Visitation Program
About the Program
Your pet is an important part of your family. Your pet may also play an important role in your
recovery from illness or injury. The Patient's Personal/Family Pet Visitation
Policy allows you to visit with your pet, under certain circumstances, during your
You and the person responsible for coordinating your pet's visit are asked to follow the policy
explained on this Web site. This policy was developed so that your visit with your pet is safe
and enjoyable for both of you.
The Patient's Personal/Family Pet Visitation is coordinated by Pastoral Care Services. A
Chaplain is available twenty-four hours to answer questions and assist you in making
preparations to receive a visit from your pet.
For more information about the Patient's Personal/Family Pet Visitation policy, please click on
the links below or scroll down the page.
Request a Visit from Your Pet
To request a visit from your pet (dog/cat):
- Contact Pastoral Care Services Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling
(410) 328-6014. During all other hours, ask your nurse to page the
chaplain. Request information needed for a pet visit.
- The physician must write an order for the pet to visit.
- Have your Veterinarian complete the Family Pet (Dog/Cat) Visitation Program Health
Certificate. Return the form to Pastoral Care Services at least 24 hours prior to the
- Make sure you have received, completed and returned the Release from Responsibility
Waiver: Family Pet (Dog/Cat) Visitation to Pastoral Care Services.
Prior to the Hospital Visit
- Prior to the visit, talk with the Chaplain to arrange the date, time and location of the pet
visit. It is best to arrange the visit during off-peak hours such as evenings and
- Check the pet's overall health and attitude. Observe the pet prior to a scheduled visit to be
sure the pet is feeling well enough for the visit.
- Bathe and groom the pet within 24 hours prior to the visit. Make sure that the pet is free of
fleas and ticks. The pet should wear a coat or t-shirt to reduce shedding and dander.
The pet's nails should be trimmed. Pets are to be crated, if possible, and the crate covered,
to reduce exposure to pet hair and dander.
- If your pet is a dog, walk him or her in the park directly across from the hospital (above
the Redwood garage) and encourage urination prior to entering the hospital. Please bring a
plastic bag or proper equipment for disposal of waste.
- Avoid feeding the pet within two (2) hours of the visit or limit the amount.
- Meet the Pastoral Care escort at the agreed upon time and location. The Chaplain will escort
you through a specific entrance and areas of decreased traffic flow to ensure the safety of
your pet. If you are unable to keep your appointment to visit, please contact the patient's
nurse and ask that they cancel the Chaplain escort.
- It may be necessary to step off an elevator if it becomes crowded.
- Your pet is here to visit you; not other patients or visitors.
During the Hospital Visit
- Be on time for the scheduled visit.
- Transport the pet in a pet carrier if possible and leash dogs at all times. Throughout the visit,
the pet must remain under your supervision at all times. Do not tie the pet to equipment or
furniture or hand the leash to other people.
- The Chaplain will post a sign on the door requesting that staff and visitors check with the nurse
prior to entering the room.
- You must always stay with the pet and be in control of the situation.
- If the pet is going to be placed on the bed, place another sheet (provided for you) on the
- If the pet has an accident while in the hospital, please clean it up immediately:
- Soak up pet urine using paper towels and pick up the soaked paper towels or excrement
using a plastic bag. Invert the bag, tie securely and place in the trash.
- Wash your hands immediately.
- Ask the Pastoral Care escort or the patient's nurse to notify housekeeping.
- In the event of an injury to the patient, another visitor, staff or the pet, end the visit
immediately and notify the Pastoral Care escort and patient's nurse.
- Wash your hands at the end of the visit and before leaving the patient's room.
- When you are ready to leave the patient's room, ask the nurse to page the Pastoral Care escort
who will escort you out of the Medical Center using designated routes. Allow 15 minutes for the
Pastoral Care escort to be notified.
This page was last updated on:
December 1, 2010.