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Facility Dog Program

Children's Mercy's two facility dogs, Hunter and Hope, 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 Hope 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 Hope are not at work, they relax and play with other members of their handlers' families.


Hunter was born February 2nd, 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 and Oncology inpatient unit, providing encouragement and snuggles to patients during their treatment.


Hope was born December 12th, 2013 and she began working at Children's Mercy in August 2015. Hope and her handler work on the inpatient units at Children's Mercy Kansas. She spends most of her time with patients and families in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, providing comfort and distraction during tests and lengthy hospital stays.

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?