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PetSmart Charities Grant Expands Pet Therapy Program at Children's National

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More than 9,000 kids set to receive benefits of pet therapy, up from
480 kids in 2017, because of a generous grant to Children's National
from PetSmart Charities

Children's National Health System and PetSmart Charities today announced
the animal welfare funder's commitment of more than $270,000 to expand a
popular pet therapy program.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180814005750/en/

A patient at Children's National Health System is all smiles thanks to support from Oliver, one of t ...

A patient at Children's National Health System is all smiles thanks to support from Oliver, one of the four-legged friends in the Animal Visitation and Pet Therapy Program. Today, Children's National and PetSmart Charities announced the animal welfare funder's commitment of more than $270,000 to expand the popular pet therapy program. With this critical funding support, the program hopes to expand from three dog and handler volunteer teams to up to 30 by 2019, serving more than 9,000 patients per year, compared with 480 in 2017. (Photo: Business Wire)

The grant will enable Children's National to add the program's first
ever full-time coordinator to facilitate more visits to patients
throughout the hospital and outpatient clinics. With this critical
funding support, the program hopes to expand from three dog and handler
volunteer teams to up to 30 by 2019, serving more than 9,000 patients
per year, compared with 480 in 2017.

The Animal Visitation and Pet Therapy Program promotes healing in
children undergoing medical treatment. The program's four-legged friends
provide a healthy diversion — easing anxieties, increasing confidence,
and encouraging cooperation.

Lane, of Princess Anne, Md., spent two weeks at Children's National in
June because of Crohn's disease. When the 17-year-old came down with
sepsis in July, Lane's mom was told that if she did not bring him back
to Children's National immediately, he might not survive the night. Lane
needed several rounds of antibiotics and some inspiration from a few
four-legged, furry volunteers before he started feeling like himself
again.

"The idea of going to play with the therapy dogs motivated Lane to get
out of bed for the first time," said Lane's mom, Tina, with tears in her
eyes. "He smiled the whole time and really opened up to the team about
his love for dogs and our dogs back home."

The Animal Visitation and Pet Therapy Program began in 2003, when Allie
and Adelle Lee, founders of Greenbelt Dog Training in Greenbelt, Md.,
requested that their pet dog visit their hospitalized son. Since then,
Children's National has partnered with Greenbelt Dog Training to bring
dogs in at least twice a month. In addition, several physicians have
incorporated pets into treatment, in areas including psychotherapy for
eating disorders and treatment for speech delays.

"We are so grateful for this generous gift from PetSmart Charities,"
said Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO at Children's National. "We are
always looking for new ways to provide a holistic and integrated
atmosphere for our patients. This support will enhance the experience of
our patients, such as Lane — bringing joy, comfort, and unique
therapeutic benefits to children for years to come."

David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, said, "In
addition to providing comfort to young patients while they are receiving
lifesaving treatments, families and staff members at Children's National
can all benefit from the healing powers of the human-animal bond.
Expanding the Animal Visitation and Pet Therapy Program will bring more
people in need unconditional love and a refreshing diversion from what
can be a very stressful experience. We are excited to partner with
Children's National to bring more smiles to those in need with the help
of their two-legged and four-legged volunteers."

In 2016, PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in
North America, expanded its mission to support programs that bring
people and pets together in impactful ways. "Enhancing
the Quality of Life Through Pets
" grants like this one supporting
Children's National support the human-animal bond, equipping pets to
make a difference in the lives of people. Together with PetSmart,
PetSmart Charities has committed nearly $4 million in grants to support
animal-assisted therapy programs at hospitals across North America.

For more information on the Animal Visitation and Pet Therapy Program at
Children's National, visit ChildrensNational.org.
For more information on PetSmart Charities, please visit PetSmartCharities.org.

About Children's National Health System

Children's National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served
the nation's children since 1870. Children's National is one of the
nation's Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is
ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties
evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times
as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate
the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This
pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a
convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty
outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland
suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children's Research Institute
and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation,
Children's National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric
institution in the nation. Children's National is recognized for its
expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for
children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels.
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About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart
Charities, Inc.
is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a
mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting
programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In
addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year
through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the
U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to nonprofits
aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:
Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the
Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster
Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in
need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout
registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities
efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the
leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300
million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has
received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent
organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and
transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row -- placing it
among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To
learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.

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