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Facility Dog Program

Hunter and Milly (Golden Retrievers)
Hunter and Milly

Children's Mercy's two facility dogs, Hunter and Milly, provide comfort, motivation and smiles to many of our patients and families. Studies show that dogs can reduce stress and help make people feel better, emotionally and physically. For many patients, playing with a dog helps make the hospital feel more like home. The dogs might encourage a child to go for a walk, socialize with others, or participate in therapies. For some children, there's not better medicine or treatment that compares to snuggling in bed with a warm fluffy friend. 

The Children's Mercy Facility Dog Program is made possible by generous support from caring individuals, businesses and organizations. For more information about the Children's Mercy Facility Dog Program contact Missy Stover at or (816) 234-3609.

Our dogs

Hunter and Milly were born and raised at a non-profit organization called Canine Assistants, Inc. in Milton, GA where they were trained to become service dogs. Each is paired with a patient activity coordinator in the Child Life Department who is their primary handler. Both dogs come to work with their handlers each morning, Monday-Friday, and go home with them at the end of the work day. When Hunter and Milly are not at work, they relax and play with other members of their handlers' families.


Hunter  (Golden Retriever)

Hunter was born Feb. 2, 2014 and he began working at Children's Mercy in June 2015. Hunter and his handler work at the Adele Hall Campus. He spends most of his time with patients and families in the Hematology/Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Gastrointestinal inpatient units. He provides support and snuggles to patients during their treatment.


Milly (Golden Retriever)

Milly was born Nov. 9, 2018 and she began working at Children's Mercy in June 2021. Milly and her handler work in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Children's Mercy Kansas, as well as the Neurology and Eating Disorders inpatient units at the Adele Hall Campus. She provides comfort and distraction during hospital stays.

Hunter with handler Aimee Hoflander. Aimee is wearing a face mask and kneeling outside Children's Mercy with Hunter by her side.

Pet Pals program

The Pet Pals program allows patients staying at Children's Mercy Adele Hall Campus the opportunity to interact with hospital volunteers and their trained and certified dogs. Does your dog have what it takes to be a Pet Pal?