The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to connecting and contributing to the surrounding community. Through animal visitation, humane education and collaboration with other agencies, the program strives to build relationships, support the human–animal bond and further the larger mission of veterinary community outreach.
VETPETS Visit Camp Victory
VETPETS volunteers provided animal-assisted therapy and activities to participants of the Juvenile Rheumotoid Arthritis (JRA) Camp held at Camp Victory in the Poconos. Participants were encouraged to interact, play, pet and bond with the canine visitors and posed for some amazing photos with their new furry friends.
From Camp Victory's website:
"Sometimes a child comes in fear, but a sense of belonging is almost instantaneous. In the relaxed atmosphere of a summer camp where fellow campers all must cope with similar health challenges, the children quickly discover a unique kinship that quickly dispels their feeling of being set apart. They support each other, giving each other courage and a true sense of self-worth. They experience a joy of living that might otherwise pass them by."
VETPETS participants certainly feel that we contributed to the mission of Camp Victory and Camp JRA and we look forward to continuing to provide animal-assisted therapy and visitation to the camp in the future.
VETPETS at the Ronald McDonald House
As a collaborative process, the Ryan Veterinary Hospital and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House have developed a pet-visitation program. On a weekly basis, faculty, staff and students of the School of Veterinary Medicine bring their certified dogs to the Ronald McDonald House. The animals and their human companions interact directly with children and their families living at Ronald McDonald House while coping with serious illness in the family. This program emphasizes the value and strength of the human–animal connection and the benefits of animal-assisted therapy.