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Pet Park opens at Sydney's Children's Hospital Westmead

A pet park has opened at Sydney Children’s Hospital at Westmead last month to provide sick kids the opportunity to spend time with their pets.

In partnership with the Petbarn Foundation, the pet park is the only one of its kind in New South Wales and provides a dedicated, safe and secured outdoor area for children undergoing treatment to be reunited with their pets.

Janelle Bloxsom, Manager at the Petbarn Foundation, said they were thrilled to launch the pet park.
“Pets offer special comfort, especially to a sick child wanting to cuddle their furry friend.
Bringing this area to life with Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation is a privilege, we know it will create unforgettable moments for families on their health journey.”

Research has shown that having pets can boost healing and improve a range of physical, psychological and social health advantages for both children and adults. Pets can increase morale, reduce loneliness, stress and build self-confidence and self-esteem.
“It is our hope that the Pet Park will help reunite sick children with their pet, providing a familiar sense of home during their hospital stay.
We truly believe the Pet Park will have a significant positive impact on the lives of young patients and their families,” said Bloxsom.

Kristina Keneally, CEO of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, explained that every child in hospital is a childhood on hold.

“No child deserves to go through this, but those who do, deserve our all. Kids undergoing treatment – especially those in hospital for extended periods of time – don’t dream of the extraordinary. They dream of being able to do ordinary, everyday things like playing in a park with their family pet.”

 Empower Therapy Dog visits a young patient at Sydney's Children Hospital at Westmead

A second pet park is planned for Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick.


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