It all started in 2002 when a Sheltie named Mitzi, who loved to play dress-up, became Bridgeport Hospital’s first pet visitor. Since then, the furry four-legged friends of Bridgeport Hospital’s Pet Therapy Program have been pawing around the halls and lobby of the Hospital, bringing smiles and comfort to the patients and visitors they meet along the way. Our dogs and their handlers visit more than 210 patients per year—that’s 1,470 visits in dog years!

How Pet Therapy Helps

The benefits of pet therapy are well-documented. Even Florence Nightingale thought small pets were an “excellent companion for the sick.” The “pet therapists” at Bridgeport Hospital help in the following ways:

  • Visit with patients who may not be able to leave their rooms
  • Relieve anxiety and stress associated with illness or injury
  • Provide comfort and a sense of familiarity
  • Motivate patients during rehabilitation therapy (e.g., being walked by patients during therapy)
About Pet Therapy Visits

Dogs and their handlers are available to visit patients various times during the week. Visits usually last around 15 minutes. If you spot one of the pet therapists around the hospital (they’re the ones wearing the blue vests and wagging their tails), please feel free to stop by and interact with them. Our dogs love to be petted, and may even have a few tricks to show off.

Meet Our Pet Therapists! >

For more information about the pet therapy program or to schedule a visit, contact the Department of Spiritual Care and Education at 203-384-3211, or email us.

Get Involved in Pet Therapy

For more information about getting involved in the Pet Therapy Program at Bridgeport Hospital, contact the Department of Spiritual Care and Education at 203-384-3211, or email us.