Columbus Children’s Hospital Expands Facility, Therapy Dog Program in Partnership With Canine Companions

The impact of Canine Companions facility and therapy dogs will continue to grow in Columbus, Ohio, thanks to a partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

The children’s hospital announced the expansion of its new facility and therapy dog program, Butterfly Paws, alongside Canine Companions in late March. The announcement was coupled with a celebration, during which Nationwide Children’s unveiled its new ‘Canine Corner’ to hospital staff, community partners and news crews. Canine Companions and Nationwide Children's Hospital staff gather with a group of facility and therapy dogs at the new Canine Corner.

All three of the facility dogs currently working at Nationwide Children’s were raised and trained by Canine Companions. With the expansion of their new program, the hospital plans to grow its total facility dogs to 10, while growing to a total of 70 therapy dogs. 

Hospital staff hope those dogs will make a positive impact on the lives of their patients, like 8-year-old Macie. 

While recovering from surgery related to a cerebral palsy diagnosis, Macie worked closely with Canine Companions facility dog Beck. 

“Macie had to learn to do basic tasks again, and once we found out there was a dog, she couldn’t wait to start rehab,” said Macie’s mom, Michelle. 

Canine Companions facility dogs are trained to complete more than 45 tasks that clinical staff then use to assist patients in a variety of care settings. In Macie’s case, playing fetch or walking around a room with Beck allowed her the opportunity to participate in rehabilitation in a fun and motivational way. 

Canine Companions facility dogs touch more than five million lives each year. You can learn more about our facility dogs by clicking here.