Harbin Clinic Cancer Center Partners with Compassionate Paws to Offer Pet Therapy

Our Tony E. Warren, MD Cancer Center has partnered with Compassionate Paws in Rome to connect individuals with lovable dogs and cats to help boost morale during the treatment process for both patients and their families. Animal-assisted therapy is just one of the ways Harbin Clinic cares for the whole person – both mentally and physically – as part of the cancer treatment journey.

Pet therapy involves interaction with animals to help enhance the comfort and recovery of individuals battling cancer and other health problems. Compassionate Paws helps bring together local pets with people undergoing treatment in order to help improve their social, emotional and cognitive functioning and promote overall healing. Therapy animals are specially selected based on having a calm, friendly temperament, and they must be thoroughly cleaned and groomed before entering the treatment facility.

From a patient perspective, interaction with pets has been proven to increase happiness and optimism and can have other positive effects like reducing pain, anxiety and stress, improving self-esteem, and decreasing depression. But the road to recovery can be difficult for concerned family members as well – and especially children. For kids, pet therapy can help create a positive association with the clinic setting where mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or another close family member is receiving treatment.

“Caring completely for cancer patients goes beyond treating them in a physical sense, which is why Harbin Clinic Cancer Center is committed to addressing the social and emotional concerns that come with a cancer diagnosis as well,” said Dr. Matthew Mumber, chairman of the Radiation Oncology practice at Harbin Clinic. “Using pet therapy and other complementary therapies allows us to deliver patient-centered care that is truly focused on healing the whole person and not just the cancer itself.”

For more information about Harbin Clinic Cancer Care services, call 762-235-3930. For more information about Compassionate Paws, call 706-295-2498.