Pet Companions

OSF Hospice Home - Patient with Dogs

The OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home has canine companions on site intermittently Monday – Friday to provide emotional support visits to those interested in the various physical, social, and emotional health benefits of the human – animal bond.  The dogs and their owners/handlers have gone through training and are here for the patients and guests to enjoy. 

These canines are designated by a Spring Green colored leash with the wording “Love on a Leash – Hospice Home”.  If you would like a canine companion visit, please let the volunteer coordinator, or your nursing staff, know; and, we will do our best to arrange a visit as schedules allow.

For those who may have allergies, a fear of dogs, or who do not wish to interact with the canines for any reason, you are empowered to decline interaction.  Please keep in mind that the canine teams will be on-site and will utilize the publicly accessible areas of the facility.  Should you prefer no interactions, please let our nursing staff know and we will restrict the teams from visiting your room.

Can My Pet Be a Pet Companion?

Requirements to be a Pet Companion:

  • Be at least 1 year of age.
  • Proof of Obedience Instruction and Passing (Minimum 2 levels)
  • Bathed and groomed within 5 days of visit (unless visibly soiled) and brushed the day of visit.
  • Nails trimmed with no sharp / rough edges.
  • Currently be on a year-round flea, tick and heartworm control program.
  • Licensed veterinarian examines each dog within 45 days of the initial visit and issues a health certificate.
    • Health certificates to include O & P and Heartworm testing; vaccination documents are submitted annually.
    • Dogs are current with following vaccinations to participate in therapy sessions. For dogs with documented medical contraindications to vaccinations, titers may be utilized at discretion of Infection Control and AAT Manager for certain vaccinations:
      • Rabies (1, 3, or 5 year)
      • Distemper (1 or 3 year)
      • Hepatitis (1 or 3 year)
      • Parvovirus (1 or 3 year)
      • Parainfluenza (1 or 3 year)
      • Leptospirosis (annual)
      • Bordetella (annual)
  • Other criteria listed below are necessary health requirements needed for an animal therapy dog initially and annually:
    • Good dental health.
    • No untreated allergies, or allergies resulting in frequent open skin lesions.
    • Hypothyroidism is treated.
    • Visible cleanliness; no signs of fleas, ticks, or dermatitis.
    • Heartworm test.
    • Documentation of negative fecal test.

Can My Dog Visit?

Many patients and families wish to bring their own dogs in for a visit. We do allow patient’s dogs to visit (other animals are not permitted). Visits must be approved in advanced and coordinated with the Administrative Staff. The dog must be on leash (or in a crate) and is only allowed in the room of the person they are visiting.

The pet’s visit should be limited to one (1) hour for the benefit of the pet and all of our patients. There is a designated Dog Relief Area on the right side of the building for your use. Please pick up after your pet.

We do require a copy of the dog’s Health Record from their veterinarian. The dog must be current on vaccinations and tests and they must be bathed within 5 days of the visit. You may bring a copy of the Health Record to the Administration of the Hospice Home or have the veterinarian office fax it to us at (309) 683-8282. 

Thank you so much for your cooperation.

Required vaccines and testing

Vaccine Vaccine Schedule
Bordetella (Kennel Cough) Begins at 9 weeks with booster following; 1 yr booster.
DHPP (Distemper Vaccine, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) Begins at 6 to 8 weeks with boosters following;
1 yr booster then ever 3rd year.
Leptospirossis Given at 6 mos. or older; 1 year booster.
Rabies Given at 16 weeks of age; 1 year booster.
Canine Annual Wellness Exam (with heartworm testing and intestinal parasite screening)