Dogs Are the Best Medicine: Pet Therapy at Renown


Studies have shown that pet therapy in healthcare settings lowers blood pressure, helps with pain management and alleviates anxiety. Learn more about the pet therapy program at Renown and how to get involved. 

For Rob Bony, the toughest part of his hospital stay was being away from his best friend, a 10-year-old golden retriever named Roscoe. 

To lift his spirits, Bony’s partner would drive Roscoe to Renown Regional Medical Center, where Bony would meet them outside for a visit. The visits became an important part of his recovery.

And through the decades-old pet therapy program at Renown Health, he began receiving visits in his room from other furry friends. He realized the joy and comfort Roscoe brought him could also help others.

“I decided that Roscoe and I would do that as a way to give back,” Bony says. 

Now every Saturday morning, Bony and Roscoe visit children and their families at Renown Children’s Hospital.


“Our sole purpose in doing this is to get smiles,” Bony says. “Roscoe absolutely loves it because he’s a ham. And Roscoe is a people-pleaser, so he loves to be petted and will lean against people and let them scratch behind the ears and hug all over him.” 

Since 1997, Renown Health has brought the healing power of animals into the healthcare setting. Volunteer handlers and their registered, insured therapy dogs visit patients, employees, families and visitors through Renown facilities. 

Petting a dog can relieve a patient’s anxiety, lower their blood pressure and aid in pain management. The visits also ease feelings of depression, loneliness, boredom and isolation, as well as stimulate communication and encourage physical activity.

Visit to learn more about joining the pet therapy team and additional volunteer opportunities at Renown, or call 775-982-4755.