Royal Canin Announces Partnership with Pioneering Organization Arranging Companion Pet Visits in Hospitals

WORKING TOGETHER WITH ZACHARY'S PAWS FOR HEALING TO PROVIDE HOSPITALIZED CANADIANS VISITS WITH THEIR OWN PETS.

GUELPH, ON, Jan. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - When faced with an extended hospital stay, a visit from a therapy dog or cat can be just what the doctor ordered. Patients who participate in animal therapy benefit greatly both physically and emotionally in the presence of a visiting animal. Imagine, then, how exponentially more beneficial it would be if a hospital patient could visit with their own beloved pet?

At Royal Canin, we believe that pets make the world better, and our purpose is to make a better world for pets. We are proud to announce our collaboration with Canada's first organization to arrange pet visits for hospitalized patients – Zachary's Paws For Healing. This partnership officially launched in December, 2015.

Zachary's Story

Zachary Noble, a compassionate young man diagnosed with an aggressive form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, spent many weeks in Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton, ON, longing to see his favourite dogs. The care and affection of his medical team – along with his aunt and constant caregiver, Donna Jenkins – helped make those visits possible. Only two days after Zachary's first visit with his dog in the ICU, he felt well enough to be moved back to his own floor, where he met with his favourite puppy from a recent litter. Remarkably, two days later, Zachary felt good enough to return home.

Zachary's visits with his pets lowered his disease-related stress levels and increased his desire to get well enough to go home. With insights more mature than his years, he truly believed in patient and companion pet visits, and was determined to find a way to make them happen for others. Although Zachary passed away in November 2014, his inspiration has led to a special lasting legacy – Zachary's Paws For Healing.

Zachary's Paws For Healing

While therapy dog programs have existed in hospitals and hospices for many years, Zachary's Paws For Healing is the first – and only – organization in Canada to arrange companion pet visits. In addition, they provide foster homes for pets whose humans require hospitalization, recognizing that owners may refuse supportive treatment if they worry no one will look after their pet. Zachary's Paws For Healing is run entirely by volunteers and supports patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Donna Jenkins, Founder of Zachary's Paws For Healing, believes that the partnership with Royal Canin is a perfect fit. "We are so excited that Royal Canin has joined us in being an active member of the community, helping to improve the lives of pets and their humans. By providing nutritional support to our foster program, supporting our fundraising efforts and providing their expertise in many behind-the-scenes functions, Royal Canin's partnership will allow us to focus on expanding our program to hospitals across Canada. Together, we are demonstrating that patients and pets are a healing combination."

With a passion for pets based in science and nutrition, aligning with this ground-breaking organization is a natural fit for Royal Canin. "Enabling pets to visit their humans in the hospital brings comfort and peace to both the patients and their companion animals," says Monica Small, Field Marketing Manager. "We are honoured and humbled by the opportunity to support the great work Zachary's Paws For Healing is accomplishing, and to help them with their vision of growing this compassionate initiative."

About Royal Canin
Through health nutrition and sharing knowledge, Royal Canin is dedicated to improving the lives of cats and dogs. Royal Canin is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of high quality, specialized dog and cat foods in the veterinary, pet specialty and breeder channels. Our headquarters are in France, and production operations exist in 12 countries worldwide, including the Canadian plant based in Guelph, Ontario. To learn more about Royal Canin, visit royalcanin.ca.

About Zachary's Paws For Healing
Zachary's Paws For Healing is a foundation in memory of Zachary Noble that is bringing to life his dream of being able to provide companion pet visits with hospital patients.
www.zacharyspawsforhealing.com

SOURCE Royal Canin

For further information: Media Contact: Monica Small, Royal Canin Canada, Mobile: 226-820-4790, monica.small@royalcanin.com; Media Contact: Donna Jenkins, Founder, Zachary's Paws For Healing, Mobile: 289-682-7925


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