Monday, May 5, 2008

Children's Hospital Boston Receives $10,000 for Pawprints Dog Visitation Program

The Planet Dog Foundation, Planet Dog's non-profit arm, is proud to announce the recipients of the spring grant cycle. Children's Hospital Boston Pawprints Dog Visitation Program, Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota and Working Dogs for Conservation Foundation have each been awarded $10,000 by the Foundation to support their canine service programs.
The Foundation has also awarded $3,000 each in re-funding to current grantees: Service Dog Project (of Ipswich); People. Animals. Love.; Gabriel's Angels; and International Hearing Dog.
The mission of the Planet Dog Foundation is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends. "We received nearly 100 high caliber proposals for amazing work happening all over the country with service dogs," says Kristen Smith, Foundation's Executive Director. "It was challenging to select just 3 new grantees, but we are extremely excited about the organizations that we have chosen," adds Smith.
Pawprints is Children's Hospital Boston’s successful dog visitation program, which provides hospitalized children and their families a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine and an opportunity for social interaction. Eligible patients and their families may request a visit from one of the hospital's visiting dogs.
In addition to their children's visitation program, Pawprints is preparing a research study which aims to describe dog visitation in acute care pediatric hospital settings from parent and child perspectives. The study, which will be published and disseminated nationwide and beyond, will be funded in part by the Foundation grant.
"Children's Hospital Boston is grateful for Planet Dog's generous gift to our Pawprints Program. This gift will enable us to complete our research study about the benefits of dog visits to hospitalized children and their families," says Kathryn Atkinson of the Pawprints Program. "We hope this research will benefit children and their families across the United States by demonstrating the value of dog visitation programs," adds Atkinson.
The study will examine the impact of dog visitation on children's affective state, mood and anxiety. Specific goals include defining the best practices of dog visitation, and creating a case for increased funding for programs. For more information, visit
Over the past decade, Portland,Maine-based Planet Dog has evolved into an award-winning, values-led designer and developer of innovative dog products and the socially responsible leader in the pet industry. The company is proud to donate a percentage of every purchase to the Planet Dog Foundation to support non-profit canine service programs nationwide.
“We’re doing what no other pet product company is doing," says Catherine Frost, Planet Dog's Director of Marketing and New Product Development. “We offer unique, top-quality products that dogs love, while creating awareness of how much service dogs give back to people in our society. Our goal is for our actions to speak louder than woofs,” adds Frost.

In 2007, the Foundation doubled its cash and in-kind donations from the previous year, giving more than $200,000 to several worthy organizations.
For more information and a full list of programs and grantees, visit

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