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UNC Lenoir Pet Therapy

Beth with Casey

Our pet therapy program delivers support and companionship for patients and visitors at UNC Lenoir Health Care. The purpose of this program is to provide patients, family members and staff the opportunity to interact with dogs and reduce stress associated with hospitalization.

Benefits of Animal Assisted Activities

Pet therapy gives patients the opportunity to interact safely with our volunteer dogs and receive their unconditional love and acceptance in the hopes of making the hospital environment more comfortable and less stressful. The dogs are a welcome distraction and help reduce anxiety that can accompany hospital visits.

Team Training

  • Our pet therapy teams consist of one volunteer and one dog who commit to an extensive training process. Sometimes teams include a staff member or a volunteer liaison for support. To become a pet therapy volunteer, you need to have your own trained dog.
  • The training process can be labor intensive in the beginning but the rewards are tremendous. In addition to being Pet Partner or Therapy Dogs International registered, dogs must undergo annual veterinarian exams with their own veterinarian, and be up to date with their immunizations.

Volunteer Recruitment

  • Volunteers must be 18 years old.
  • Volunteers must successfully complete application and orientation process.
  • Volunteers commit to at least one visit per month for a minimum of six months.

How to Apply

Pet therapy dog.

  • First, become registered with Pet Partners or Therapy Dogs International. Both organizations help you determine whether you and your pup would make a good animal therapy team.
  • Once you are registered and trained, complete an online volunteer application.
  • Meet with Director of Volunteer Services to review application and introduce dog.
  • Attend a general orientation session which includes a health screen and criminal background check.
  • Reap benefits of helping others!

Apply to Volunteer

Want to help make a difference? Apply to be a volunteer and help spread our mission and improve the lives and quality of care for patients, families and visitors to UNC Lenoir Health Care. 

Adult Volunteer Application

Ways to Give

Did you know you can support UNC Lenoir Health Care beyond volunteering your time? Learn more about ways to give that help support the mission and vision of UNC Lenoir Hospital Foundation.

Contact Volunteer Services

If you have questions about volunteering at UNC Lenoir Health Care,contact us today:

Office Hours

Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Lobby level, discharge exit across from Cashier's Office


Jane Hanrahan, Director

Phone: 252-522-7006

Audra Kite, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 252-522-7011

Rev. Don Sauls, Pastoral Care Coordinator

Phone: 252-522-7131

Angela Quinn, Cheer Corner Coordinator

Phone: 252-522-7022