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Resident Dog Program at CHOC

Resident Dog Program at CHOC

CHOC’s resident dog program provides invaluable services to patients and their families, but is not revenue producing or reimbursable through insurance. The critical benefits of this program are dependent upon philanthropy and supporters like you to help us encourage patients and their families to stay positive during the healing process. Unlike our beloved volunteer pet therapy dogs brought to the hospital by volunteers, Resident Dogs are highly specialized service dogs specifically trained to be a vital part of therapeutic treatment. Lois and Odessa work together with their child life specialist handlers to help children meet their individualized, clinical goals.

The Resident Dog Program is supported solely through philanthropy. Founding support for the program was provided by Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s Dogs for Joy program, with additional support from PetSmart Charities and Pastime with Purpose. CHOC also is grateful to its training partner, Canine Companions for Independence.

Your generosity can help sustain this special program and the dogs who contribute distinctively and therapeutically to aid in a patient’s journey to wellness and in staff well-being.

Annual care and upkeep for one resident dog includes veterinary care and grooming, pet care supplies, dog food, salary for 24/7 staff dog handler and continuing education.

Consider a gift now to become a Defender of Childhood. Your donation could purchase necessary items like:

Doggie Toothbrush- $1
Kong Brand Dog Toys - $10
Doggie Sanitation Wipes - $20
Sponsor a Dog's Food for 1 Year - $500
Sponsor a Dog's Grooming for 1 Year - $5,000

To learn more about the program, visit

Lois is CHOC's first resident dog. Funded solely through philanthropy, she is a specially trained, helping normalize the hospital experience for our patients.. Learn more about Lois at

CHOC welcomes resident dog Odessa into pediatric mental health inpatient center. Learn more about Odessa's role at

Our dogs are specially trained and their work is embedded into patients' care plans to help with comfort, pain control and anxiety reduction.


Matched by Canine Companion, Odessa, along with her handler Janessa, will bring an additional resource to the unit’s expert, specially trained staff as they work to treat patients experiencing a mental health crisis.

Our resident dog program, along with our volunteer pet therapy program, will play equally important roles at CHOC. We cannot wait to see the impact Lois will have on the many patients and families that come through our doors! Learn more at


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