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Facility Dog Program

Collage photo of Jellybean (golden retriever) on the right and Litta (chocolate lab) with Hunter (golden retriever) on the left.
Jellybean, and Litta with Hunter.

Children's Mercy's facility dogs provide comfort, motivation and smiles to our patients and families. Our dogs are born and raised at a non-profit organization called Canine Assistants, Inc. in Milton, GA. Their special training and calming presence make them a paw-fect match for our program.

What do the facility dogs do?

Studies show that dogs can reduce stress and help people feel better. Spending time with a dog can help the hospital feel more like home. For some children, there's no better medicine than snuggling in bed with a warm fluffy friend. 

The dogs spend their days helping patients reach goals. Each patient has their own set of goals that are related to why they are in the hospital. For example, one patient’s goal might be walking after surgery, while another patient’s goal might be working hard to feel less scared in the hospital.  

Outside of work, the dogs live with their primary handlers. When the dogs are not at the hospital, they relax and spend time with their families.

How can I meet a facility dog?

If you think your child would benefit from a facility dog visit, please contact a member of the Patient and Family Services Department. They will work with our facility dog handlers to assess your child’s need for a visit. Dogs at Children’s Mercy are popular pups, and while we do our best to meet all requests, we cannot promise a visit.

I want to learn more

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.

Meet our facility dogs



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. For many years, he spent time with patients and families in the Hematology/Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Gastrointestinal inpatient units, helping patients achieve treatment goals.

Hunter now works part-time, splitting his time between supporting our patients and families and supporting our staff at the hospital.



Jellybean, a yellow Golden Retriever.

Jellybean was born Dec. 10, 2020, and she began working at Children's Mercy in October 2022. Jellybean and her handler work at the Adele Hall campus. They spend most of their time working with Hematology/OncologyBone Marrow Transplant and Gastrointestinal patients, but also take other hospital referrals. 

Jellybean also spends time with her secondary handlers. They are both child life specialists and work on differing inpatient units. Jellybean brings lots of smiles, comfort and distraction to the patients and families she sees.



Litta wearing a big, pink bow around her neck. She is a chocolate Labrador Retriever.

Litta was born Aug. 12, 2018, and she began working at Children's Mercy in October 2022. Litta and her handler work at the Adele Hall campus. They spend most of their time working with various patients on various units. Litta also takes referrals outside of her designated units. Litta can often be seen wearing a big, bright bow; it has become her trademark!

Litta also spends time with her secondary handler, a child life specialist in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Litta brings joy and wiggles wherever she goes.

Six Adele Hall Children's Mercy staff members petting a beagle with the Pet Pals Program.

Pet Pals program

The Pet Pals program allows patients and staff members at both the Adele Hall campus and the Children’s Mercy Kansas location, 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?