A white dog with a CAMH bandana

CAMH Gifts of Light – Pet Therapy

Purina is proud to sponsor CAMH Gifts of Light. Purina matches donations to CAMH Gifts of Light up to a total of $10,000 to support programs like Pet Therapy.

DONATE NOW TO PET THERAPY (and we'll match it!)

Gifts of Light supports CAMH patients on their journey to recovery with basic essentials such as pajamas and toiletries, as well as meaningful experiences like visits from the volunteer-run Pet Therapy Program.

Spending time with animals can give patients a special moment of unconditional love. The Pet Therapy Program at CAMH brings 28 therapy dogs to every in-patient unit and most out-patient units of the hospital, from youth to geriatrics, touching more than 600 clients every week. Anyone can support the Pet Therapy Program or give a meaningful gift through the Gifts of Light website

“Anyone who knows dogs understands that their love is unconditional. Our therapy dogs love visiting our patients as much as our patients look forward to their visits,” said Theresa Conforti, a CAMH volunteer coordinator who leads the Pet Therapy Program. “For some patients, a visit from a therapy dog means a cuddle with a lapdog, for others it means a great walk in a local park. The bond between therapy dogs and patients is so powerful.” 

The Power of Pets - Survey Results

Purina knows that pets can help reduce stress, spark joy and break down social barriers to reduce feelings of isolation – whether in care settings like CAMH, or at home. We recently conducted a survey of Canadian pet parents to learn more about the everyday mental health benefits of interacting with pets. Here’s what you told us:

  • 99% of Canadians agree that interacting with a pet can be a form of therapy.
  • 98% of Canadians agree that their pets bring them joy.
  • 97% of Canadians say that their pet gives them a sense of companionship and eases loneliness.
  • 96% of Canadians agree that pets make a stressful environment more positive.
  • 92% of Canadians say that when they are crying, feeling down, sick, etc. their pet seems concerned / will comfort them.
  • 93% of Canadians say their pet makes them smile more than three times per day.
  • 59% of Canadians say that passers-by approach them at least a few times per week while out with their pet.

Source: Online survey of 1,214 Canadian Pet Owners from Purina Canada’s PetTalk Community in partnership with Vision Critical completed between October 10, 2019 – October 28, 2019.

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