Pet Friend Volunteer Program

The Pet Friends Volunteer Program is an extraordinary program that brings the comfort and support of very special dogs and their owners to hospitalized children.

Patients are able to connect with the Pet Friends through:

  • Watching dogs play.
  • Petting.
  • Cuddling.
  • Helping the handler walk the dog.

All dogs must receive a series of screenings and evaluations to become an approved Pet Friends volunteer.

Dog handlers must join the Hospital Volunteer Program.

Dogs and their handlers act as a team and together work with members of our Child Life staff to coordinate visits to hospitalized children.

View the Well Dog Evaluation Form (PDF).

Schedule a Visit with our Pet Friend Volunteers

If your child is a patient at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and you would like to coordinate a visit, contact our Child Life Department at 412-692-5022.

To learn more about Pet Friends through Volunteer Services, please contact us via email at

Apply for the Pet Friends Volunteer Program at UPMC Children's

At this time, our schedule and roster are full and we will not be bringing any new dogs in for evaluations for the next several months.

Check back for an updated formalized process and inquiry form for all new Pet Friend volunteer applicants if you are still interested in having your dog be part of our program.